Yorkshire golf: East helps point England in direction of win over Ireland

Moortown's Stephen East (Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire).
Moortown's Stephen East (Picture: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire).
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YORKSHIRE seniors champion Stephen East won 5&3 as England beat European champions Ireland 4-3 in the Seniors’ Home Internationals at Crowborough Beacon GC, in Sussex.

Today they will face Scotland, who beat Wales by the same score.

They will close the three-day round robin competition by playing Wales tomorrow.

Yesterday England were pulled through 4-3 by David Niven (Newbury & Crookham) who turned his match around by winning five holes in a row and then holed a 40ft birdie putt on the last to snatch the crucial point.

East is in his second season of seniors golf and as well as winning the Yorkshire championship, placed third last weekend in England Golf’s County Champion of Champions event, and was third in the English Men’s Mid Amateur Championship, which he has won on three occasions.

He represented England in the European men’s championship in Bulgaria as well as in this week’s Home Internationals.

But the competitive drive which has seen the Moortown man win across four decades also leads to a degree of dissatisfaction with his year.

“I’ve suffered from a lack of consistency,” said the 56-year-old. “I’ve shot some really good scores, but some average ones too.

“I might have played too much. I will have to review it at the end of the year, maybe pick and choose my events a bit more.

“I couldn’t hazard a guess at how many I’ve played in, but I’ve tried to play as much as I can. I’ve been playing with the younger age groups as well as the seniors, just to keep me as sharp as possible.”

East says the seniors internationals are not as intense as playing full internationals in his younger days, but they still satisfy his appetite for the heat of battle.

“My competitive intensity isn’t decreasing – although my body’s giving up, the mind isn’t,” he joked.

“I enjoy the competition. Lots of people have lost that, but I just enjoy competing, that’s what it’s always about for me – trying to compete at the highest level I can.

“I think it helps if you are mentally sharp and want to do well and want to compete; you have the drive and determination to succeed.”

East applies himself on every shot, no matter what has gone before him in a round .

He revealed the mark of a true champion when he commented: “A 74 is an awful lot better than a 75, even if it’s not that good.

“However you’re playing, you’ve got to try to get the most out of your round as possible. You’ve got to try on every shot otherwise it’s not worth playing.”

Being self-employed in the golf business, providing wholesale equipment, mainly to club professionals, allows him the freedom to play when and where he wants.

“I’ve got to that stage in life where I like to think I can suit myself a little bit, do what I want to do,” he reflected.