Golf professional Mark Belsham is already relishing the prospect of playing on the European Seniors Tour next year after coming through the qualifying school in Portugal last week.
The Stonelees Golf Centre teaching professional, who lives in Sholden, finished joint seventh in the 72-hole tournament at the Vale da Pinta course on The Algarve, with the top 20 all earning full membership of the lucrative European over-50s tour.
Belsham fired rounds of 73, 72, 67 and 67 for a five-under-par total of 279, seven shots behind the winner, England’s John Harrison.
He said: "I’m over the moon – and quite surprised!
"The key round was the third round, when I moved quite a long way up the field with my 67.
"Then, in the final round, a lot of players seemed to be affected by nerves but I played the back nine well and jumped further up the leaderboard.
"Everything went well out there but I would like to say a particular thank you to my caddie, Roy Smith, who did a great job."
The Seniors Tour has grown in stature in recent years and the list of winners this year included household names such as Ian Woosnam, Sam Torrance and Mark James.