Retired betting shop manager Michael Day hadn’t gambled on winning a major golf trophy.
With 80 club colleagues in the field and a no-win record in his four years as a member of Leighton Buzzard’s Plantation Road club, the odds were stacked against him winning the coveted Spencer Cup.
But 25 points from his opening nine holes and another 14 on the home straight were enough to open his account, beating runner-up Darren Chambers by a shot, with Graham Westlake-Tritton third on countback from Peter Robson after both finished with 37 pints.
“I thought I had blown it when things didn’t go to plan on the run in,” said 19-handicapper Michael, adding: “Darren was so unlucky not to win, but when it’s your day, it’s your day.”
The Spencer Cup has a family golfing history dating back three generations spanning almost 70 years. Bert Spencer was a Leighton member from the 1950s until he died in 1982. His son Eric had joined the club in 1962 and donated the trophy in memory of his father. Eric passed away in 2015, and was succeeded by son Barry, a long-time Leighton member who presented the trophy to the latest winner Michael after Wednesday’s annual competition.
Other leading scores and order of finishing were: 36pts –Peter King, Martin King; 35pts – David Vaughan, Peter Myrants, Ian Summerfield, Robbie John, Graham Pellow, Mark Sandham, Duncan Smith, Ian Kempsell, Michael J Smith; 34pts – Nigel Barnes, Tom ~Day, Martin Broadley, Jeff Wood.
 Former Ladies Captain Lesley Brazier won the ladies March stableford with 34 points, a shot clear of Angela Samuels, with Anne Tilbury third. The nine-hole competition was won by Barbara Healy who beat Barbara Deacon on countback after both finished with 18 points.
 Simon and Tom Light are the latest qualifiers for Leighton’s Captain’s Cup final to be played on April 8, carding 46 points to beat Alexis Panayiotou and George Elford by three shots.
SPENCER CUP line-up (left to right): Graham Westlake-Tritton, Barry Spencer, winner Michael Day and Seniors Captain Paul Bishop.
TOP MAN… Spencer Cup winner Michael Day with Seniors Captain Paul Bishop.