Air Max 90 Tinker

Bottomley said: "I had to qualify at Ladybank and played dreadfully on the first day but holed loads of putts for one over then practised on the evening and found the answer to the swing.

Air Max 90 Tinker

"Before The Open think I'd won about 16,000 and spent more than I'd won.

"I took that swing thought to The Open then found my putting stroke and kept going. There's always one journeyman who comes out of the pack Nike Air Max 90 Running Shoes Mens

"Next day I birdied the first three holes then a couple more and got in a play off with the likes of Darren Clarke and Peter Senior.

He said: "It's all relative 65,000 bought quite a lot then.

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"Then you get elevated to different tee times and Nike Air Max 90 Ultra White And Black

Amazingly he has never played the Old Course since although every time The Open returns to St Andrews he can rely on a few requests to retell his Air Max 90 Tinker story of a glorious near miss.

In 1995, the then journeyman pro came agonisingly close to lifting the Claret Jug, holding the clubhouse lead late in the final round until he was overtaken by John Daly and Costantino Rocca.

Bottomley remained under the radar as rounds of 70, 72 and 72 left him seven off the lead held by Michael Campbell.

It Nike Air Max 90 Red Suede

A bogey there was followed by a birdie on 18 where Bottomley sensibly used his putter from just short of the green, a similar spot from where Rocca later fluffed his initial chip before holing at the second attempt to get into the play off with Daly.

Air Max 90 Tinker

Air Max 90 Tinker

and that year it was me."

Air Max 90 Tinker

However, that game of golf is never easy and, two years later, Bottomley had to return to qualifying school for a ninth time and, after failing to win his card, his career petered out.

Air Max 90 Tinker

STEVEN BOTTOMLEYhas played only six rounds at St Andrews but four of them almost brought him golf's greatest prize.

"The only mistake I made was getting the wind wrong on the 17th, I thought it was across but it was straight downwind and if it hadn't pitched into the Road Hole bunker it would have been down the 18th fairway."

"Although I didn't know what position I was in when walking down the 12th I knew I was doing quite well when a few more cameras arrived.

Dark horse Steven Bottomley recalls 1995 Old Course drama

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different players and realise these guys have only got two arms and two legs and it's just a game of golf."

Bottomley won 65,667 for third place, a fraction of what he would earn this year, but still a welcome windfall.

But a closing round of 69 in windy conditions propelled him to the top of the leaderboard.

is a tale the Yorkshireman is happy to relive over a bacon sandwich and cup of tea at Shipley Golf Club.

Air Max 90 Tinker

Air Max 90 Tinker

He said: "It was probably the best way to finish third because I was ahead of all the leaders, posted the score and there was probably not as much pressure as leading the event.

"There were nine of us for eight spots and I was in the first fourball, airmailed the green with a wedge and chipped it to 12ft and holed it for a par. We all made par and then one guy made a bogey and that was it.

Air Max 90 Tinker

The 45 year old still makes a living from the game, joining fellow former tour pro Patrick Hall to run a corporate golf firm, Botts Paddy Event Specialists.

"It blew between 30 and 40mph all week and I couldn't wear a cap but I didn't have time to get a haircut so if you see the pictures I look like I've got a big afro.

"I holed a 26 yard putt on the ninth where around the hole was like a Formica top, you couldn't get it close, but it went in and I jumped about a yard in the air.

"Without being cocky, I was the only guy to break 70 in the final round.

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