Richard O’Hanlon is almost certainly the most active competitor and travels thousands of miles to compete. But he was forced to miss the West’s opening pro-am of the season over the Minchinhampton old course in Gloucestershire, writes Peter Godsiff.
The St Kew club professional had driven ten miles from his home before he suffered probably the unluckiest accident of all. “A brick fell off the back of a builder’s lorry and smashed my windscreen.” He said. “It was frightening and there was no way I could continue my journey. Thankfully I was not injured.”
His first priority was to make emergency arrangements to continue on his annual trip to compete in the US Open pre-qualifier in Naples, Florida, the following day. He eventually made it after 22 hours. He was particularly anxious to qualify this year as places in Sectional qualifying alongside leading European Tour players at Walton Heath were on offer.
Although he will qualify for seniors’ golf next year and has his mind set on the Staysure Tour he is perfecting swing changes with double European Tour winner Robert Rock, who was once his assistant as Seedy Mill Golf Club, Litchfield.
Rock has earned a reputation as one of the game’s best coaches and has taken rising Tour star Matt Wallace under his wing.
“The answer to doing well in Seniors golf is to play as often as possible in the months before you qualify. That was what Paul Broadhurst did and he has certainly been successful,” he said.
Everything seems to be paying off for O’Hanlon who has enjoyed a successful season to date. He was especially pleased to qualify in second place for the Club Pros Championship at Little Aston. He also fared well in two overseas pro-ams in Portugal.