"AT least I'm not a perennial bridesmaid. I've won a few of 'em."
So said Peter Doherty, who holds the record for winning the most number of t Taree golf club championships. He has eight. However Doherty's last success was in 2009. In the years since he's regularly been in the hunt to add to his tally, only to fall short.
The 50-year-old was far from downcast with this year's campaign. Doherty finished runner-up to Matt Walz. who has dominated the championship in recent years. Walz now has his name on the trophy six times.
"Mate, with what's going on in the world at the moment, we're lucky to be even playing golf,'' Doherty reasoned.
"And I've been pretty happy with the way I've been playing in the last three months.''
He led after two rounds but the third proved to be crucial. Walz had made a slow start, firing a 77 in the opening round. However, he produced the round of the championship in the third, a one under par 69 to claim the lead by two.
"It was a good scoring day that day and Matt took full advantage,'' Doherty said.
"Full credit to him.''
Mate, with what's going on in the world at the moment, we're lucky to be even playing golfPeter Doherty
Doherty admits his third round wasn't as good as it could have been.
"I don't think I played badly, but I didn't score as well as I should have,'' he noted.
Walz had a two shot buffer going into last Saturday's round and produced a steady 74 to claim the crown. Doherty finished three shots adrift.
Doherty broke 300 for the four rounds, which he said was an achievement. He estimates he's been runner up on seven or eight occasions. However, he admits that when he won his last championship in 2009, he thought he'd have another up by 2021.
Under COVID-19 restrictions players weren't allowed to take alcohol onto the course for the opening two rounds, where, coincidentally, Doherty was the leader. The ban was lifted when the area came out of lockdown in time for the last two rounds
With a grin he described speculation that this may have played a part in his strong early form as 'a vicious rumour...that might have some merit.'
Walz is now closing in on Doherty's record of eight titles.
"Records are there to be broken,'' Doherty reasoned.
"I beat Clive Nelson's record. Someone will beat me one day.''
However, the obvious way to stay in front is to win a couple more titles. "I'll keep trying,'' he promised.
"If I play like I did this year, next year, I'm confident I'll be thereabouts.''