The biggest win of Paul Broadhurst’s career may have earned him recognition during a visit to his local DIY store in the Midlands but he’ll need to keep hammering away to get American golf officials to sit up and take notice.
“No, not at all,” replied the affable Englishman to being asked if, on the back of a hard-earned victory at Carnoustie last month, he’d been announced as the Senior Open champion on the first tee during the US Senior Open in Columbus, Ohio, last week.
“There was very little reference to it, to be honest. A lot of the players came up and introduced themselves to me and said congratulations, which was nice. The majority were pleased and happy for me. But no, I wasn’t announced as Senior British Open champion.
“It was quite funny. On the third day I played with Bernhard Langer and Marco Dawson and that was the last three Senior Open champions paired together. I wasn’t even a TV draw. I was on the opposite side of the draw for the TV coverage. It has no effect over there.”
Not that it matters to Broadhurst, who insists he’s “never been a big-time Charlie, just a Midland lad who has won a couple of tournaments”, at least that triumph in Angus registered with some people in his native Nuneaton. “There have been a couple of occasions,” he admitted after being asked if any random praise had come his way. “I was at one of the DIY shops – B&Q, I think it was – and somebody in the car park stopped me and said ‘British Senior Open champion, fantastic’. But I’ll still be unrecognised in most places.”
Definitely not at Archerfield Links over the next three days, where the former Ryder Cup player defends his Prostate Cancer UK Scottish Senior Open title, having defeated Gordon Manson, an Austrian-based Scot, to make a winning debut in the over-50s ranks at the East Lothian venue 12 months ago.
The £250,000 tournament is the only appearance Broadhurst is making in a regular European Senior Tour event between now and the end of the season. As a major winner, he’s secured a Champions Tour exemption and is hoping to make play in as many as nine events on the lucrative US circuit before the end of the 2016 campaign.
“It’s been quite a life-changer,” he admitted. “I’m still coming to terms with it. It’s a British Open, isn’t it? Things like that don’t happen to me. The replica trophy arrived the week before I went to the US, so that helped it sink in a bit. I have to get used to the expectations and what it means.”
Broadhurst’s title rivals in this week’s 54-hole event include former Masters champion Ian Woosnam, who finished fourth in the US Senior Open, as well as Edinburgh man Andrew Oldcorn, who beat the defending champion in a play-off in Germany last month to claim his first victory in five years.