North Devon golfer John Smith has won the national final of England Golf’s Senior Series.

Smith, who plays at Great Torrington Golf Club, claimed the title at Frilford Heath Golf Club in Oxfordshire, scoring 38 stableford points on the red course.

The 73-year-old beat a mixed field of more than 60 players from across the country, all of which had qualified through regional competitions.

Hallamshire’s Malcolm Gregg and Whittington Heath’s Jayne Fletcher were runners up, scoring 37 points.

“I am very surprised and extremely delighted,” said John.

“I played in the practice round and the casual observer would probably have thought I hadn’t played before. I was absolutely awful.

“I gave myself a bit of a talking to and went out to see if I could do better – and my putting was outrageous! I had only about 25 putts.”

Jo, who has held a single figure handicap for the last 50 years, arrived at Frilford playing off seven – and was looking forward to a cut to six after the performance.

“My claim to fame is that I once came second in the Austrian seniors and won the Slovenian seniors,” he added.

John was playing in the Senior Series for the first time. It offers six regional competitions, with the best players at each qualifying for the final.

John paid £47.50 for his entry for the Torquay qualifier.

He said: “We’ve had two rounds at Frilford, overnight accommodation, dinner with wine and lunch when we finished today. It’s amazing value for money.”