The victory by Tommy Fleetwood in this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship earned a special cheer in Lancashire golf circles.
He still keeps strong links with golf in the county, where he learned the game and first came to prominence as a youngster.
Phil Harvey, secretary of the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs, said: “Tommy is a tremendous role model for young golfers in Lancashire.
“He has maintained contact with many of the county players, even joining in on county coaching sessions and providing masterclasses in our current squad.”
Harvey added: “Tommy has shown great character to come through a period when his game wasn’t quite firing.
“We hope this latest run of good form will take him into the world top 50 and see him feature in all the majors in 2017. Fleetwood, who hails from Southport, made his debut in the full county side as a 16-year-old and only lost one of the 12 matches he played.
Now Fleetwood has a Masters debut in his sights after a superb burst of scoring helped secure his second European Tour title thanks to his triumph in the Middle East. Fleetwood carded a closing 67 to finish 17 under par, a shot ahead of United States Open champion Dustin Johnson – who eagled the last – and Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal.
The 26-year-old was a lowly 188th in the rankings at the start of September, but has reaped the rewards of returning to his former coach Alan Thompson and using his friend Ian Finnis as his caddie.
Fleetwood, who won the Johnnie Walker Championship in 2013, said: “I thought maybe my second win would come sooner. I had a really hard time from July 2015 to July last year where I really struggled with my game. It’s been an awkward curve and massive comeback.”
The win lifts Fleetwood to just outside the top 50 in the world.