Yorkshire golf: Nigel Colbeck completes Bradford and Leeds Union double at Bingley St Ives

Cleckheaton's Nigel Colbeck receives the Bradford 36-hole amateur championship trophy from union president Colin Edwards, of Northcliffe.
Cleckheaton's Nigel Colbeck receives the Bradford 36-hole amateur championship trophy from union president Colin Edwards, of Northcliffe.

CLECKHEATON'S Nigel Colbeck has neighbouring unions Bradford and Leeds scouring the history books after claiming the former's 36-hole championship at Bingley St Ives.

For the scratch player is believed to be the first man to win the championships of both unions.

"I was talking to a friend the other day about the Bradford championship and he said to me, 'you're the first person I know who's won the Leeds and Bradford'. He doesn't think anyone's ever done it before.

"I was a member at Moor Allerton golf club for seven years - I left there about four years ago - and I won the Leeds amateur in 2010 around Moortown.

"I've always been at Cleckheaton, but my dad tried to get me to challenge myself more when I was a junior and Moor Allerton is a tougher course. I've still always been a member of Cleckheaton, though."

It is customary for members to treat their club captain with due deference and respect - but Colbeck is refusing amused Cleckheaton captain Mark Vertigans's attempts to retrieve a putter with which the 23-year-old triumphed at Bingley, with rounds of 68 70.

"I'm best mates with the captain's son, Tom, and we all play together in the medals," explained Colbeck. "I had been struggling with my putting and I said I wanted something a bit heavier. I normally use a blade putter.

"The captain said he had some in his locker and I picked up a Scotty Cameron and loved the way it felt. I've been putting in quite a bit of time on the practice green with it and I have built so much confidence with it and it has made a massive difference to my game.

"He keeps trying to wind me up by saying he wants it back - he's got no chance."

Colbeck wielded the putter as if it was a magic wand in the closing stretch of his second round, carding four birdies in a row from the 13th, and finished one clear of the host club's Terry Brushwood, who shot 67 72. The Bradford's Richard Wheatley was third on 140 (71 69).

"I didn't really know what the other scores were in the morning because I put my card in and had just 25 minutes turnaround," continued Colbeck.

"I was just trying to post the best score I could. I had a chance at 17 to make it five birdies in a row and just missed.

"I thought my total would be somewhere about, but I got a par on the last and then I found out that Terry Brushwood, in the group behind, had shot 67 in the morning.

"When I found he had a 72 in the afternoon to finish a shot behind me it was a great feeling, but Richard Wheatley was in the last group out and I thought that he was the only one who could catch me. He was three under with about seven to play and there are a couple of good birdie chances on the way in.

"He's a former pro and a former member at Bingley so I thought he might catch or pass me. I had an hour and a half's horrible wait. It was great to eventually find I'd won. I have been playing quite well for a while without getting a score together so it was nice it all came together at Bingley."

A past winner of Yorkshire Order of Merit events the Hawksworth Trophy and Cleveland Salver, he concluded: "Last year I struggled a bit and I said this year I want to get myself back playing as I know I can still compete if I put some time in on my game. It was nice to get the win and I am back to scratch now as I have fluctuated between one and scratch."

For a full report on the Bradford 36-hole championship click here