Sentinel Cup golf: McCue in the swing to secure title
PRACTICE made perfect for Ian McCue as he defeated former champion John Kendall to win the Sentinel Cup for the first time.
McCue, from Cheddleton, was a self-employed plasterer who found himself short of work in a building trade hard-hit by the economic climate.
The 41-year-old took out his frustration on the golf course and the extra hours paid off as he beat Kendall 2&1 in a thrilling final at Trentham on Sunday.
McCue has now found regular work as a forklift truck driver.
However, his golf should be just fine after he produced a composed performance to get his name on the trophy for the first time.
He'd never got past the quarter-finals before, but held his nerve to deny 29-year-old Kendall, from Sneyd Green, who was champion in 2003 and 2004.
A nip and tuck final was all square at the 14th, but McCue edged ahead in the 15th before clinching victory at the 17th.
He said: "It was a very tight game. I did feel a bit nervous before my first tee shot, but I was more relaxed then I thought I would be.
"There were about 70 people there and a good atmosphere.
"John's a good player who has won it before, but I was just trying to play the course. Start trying to play the person and you make mistakes."
The victory continued a purple patch for McCue who was crowned club singles champion at Leek Birchall earlier this month, having only joined the club in February.
He said: "I was at Whiston for six years, but playing at Leek Birchall has really brought on my game. You have to be consistent around there.
"I managed to go round there in 69 with my dad, which is the best I have ever done."
McCue also attributes his improvement to local professional Sarah Gallagher who has worked with him at Lightwood Driving Range.
He said: "She's made a big difference. I've been practicing at Lightwood three or four times a week and have also been working on my short game at Leek Birchall.
"We all have bad days, but I know I can hit the greens consistently.
"Luckily, I didn't hit any duff shots in the final.
"I have only played at Trentham twice. I played it last Wednesday before the final and that definitely helped. It's a fantastic course."