Mike Durkin suffered a heart attack in 2013 and thought his golfing days were over, making his triumph in the aptly named trophy all the more remarkable.
The 63-year-old Hurlston Hall member has spent much of the summer progressing steadily through the competition, making his way through his club event, regional finals and then the national final at Woodhall Spa last month.
He teed it up at the pro-am of the Bridgestone Challenge at Luton Hoo on September 6 with teammates Neil Garbutt and 14 year-old Hannah Golding and professional Ben Evans, only to beat every other finalist team to secure the silverware.
Aside from the prestige of beating thousands of fellow amateurs during his journey, Mike can now look forward to a money-can’t-buy round with Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia or another household name of the European Tour at the pro-am of the British Masters supported by Sky Sports at Close House on September 27.
Mike said: “I really have chased my dream to win this, so the trophy couldn’t have been better named. Four years ago, I was a gonner. I thought the heart attack was going to finish me off. My wife was with me all the way and vowed she’d get me back, and here I am. I honestly never thought I would experience anything like this, so I am savouring every second.
“We were supposed to be on holiday in Spain, so I could have got a clip around the ear for being here, but I wouldn’t have missed this round of golf for anything. It really is all about chasing your dreams and that is what happened out there. Bridgestone has been brilliant in creating an event like this, and giving amateurs like us a chance to play on the biggest stages.”
The Bridgestone Tyres Chase your Dream Trophy is an annual event open to members of England Golf’s 1,900 affiliated clubs and features separate competitions for men and women.
Bridgestone Tyres’ consumer sales and marketing director Farrell Dolan said: “I don’t think we heard a story as memorable as Mike’s from the moment the very first tee shot was hit back in May. So for him to win with Neil and Hannah couldn’t have been better. We want to empower people to believe that they can do things and that nothing is impossible. Mike has been a living endorsement of this and we are all absolutely thrilled for him.”
For more information about Bridgestone and its Chase Your Dream concept, visit www.nomatterwhat.uk.com