AMERICAN Michael Mercier claimed the Welsh Open Seniors Championship at Nefyn and District Golf Club last month.
The 57-year-old former banker, who was third in the British Seniors Amateur last year, won by three shots from a strong chasing group from England, led by Richard Partridge from Wildernesse.
Mercier, from Jupiter Hills, Florida, took control of the event with an opening 68 putting him into the early lead, then two solid rounds of 73 were enough to claim the title with a final score of one-over-par.
He flew across to take part in the event and was one of five Americans in the international field. The strong English contingent was supplemented with competitors from Scotland and Europe.
“I enjoyed it very much and it is a great honour to win on such a wonderful golf course,” said Mercier.
“The members and everybody in that area of Wales were lovely, fun people. It is such a great place to play golf because the course is very good.
“I was looking for somewhere to play a links type course before coming back for the British Seniors Amateur in August. I did not know a lot about this event before playing, but when I held the trophy and saw it was first awarded in 1898 it meant a lot. It showed there was such a long history of championship golf.”
It was Mercier’s fourth win of the year, following three victories on the seniors circuit in America.
“Michael was a deserved winner,” said Golf Union of Wales championships manager Gavin Reen. “He enjoyed an excellent first round with four birdies and just the one bogey and then kept control.
“The Nefyn course provided a fantastic test for these players and would have helped justify the trip across the Atlantic. It is one of the most iconic courses in Wales with the cliff top holes jutting out into the sea and it certainly lived up to its reputation.”