Vaughan Roberts, a retired dentist from Chester, won the English Captains Tournament at Eastbourne Downs in Sussex on a day highlighted by a second hole-in-one of the weekend.

Roberts carded a closing 35 points off a handicap of ten for an aggregate of 75, two ahead of the hole-in-one man Nick Durston from Bristol, who finished runner-up on a card countback from Chipping Sodbury’s Michael Darby, both with 73 points.

“Coming into the weekend I didn’t think I had a chance of winning,” said Roberts. “I’ve been playing steadily all year without doing anything special but this is incredible.

“I’ve not won anything apart from the odd club senior open but this is important because it is a national title. I had no idea what the situation was until I’d signed my card and found I was two points clear.”

The 69 year old from Eaton Golf Club put himself in the frame with 40 points in the opening round and was in the last match out with his closest rivals, Russell Rimmer from Northampton, who had holes-in-one on the opening day, and Graeme MacDonald from Newark, both of whom were just a point behind.

However, Rimmer could do no better than 32 for 71 while MacDonald signed for 33 and 72.

The clubhouse target had been set at 73 by Darby and Durston and Roberts needed just a bogey-five at the last to finish a point clear. He did better than that with a par four for three points and his 35 that saw him home as a clear winner.

“I felt that 35 points would be about right and on the 18th I knew that if I could get two or three points it might be enough,” he said. “This win will go down well at my club because it will show that the old boys can do it occasionally.”

Durston’s hole-in-one came with a five iron at the 199 yard eighth, repeating Rimmer’s ‘ace’ of the previous day. The 48 year old captain at Knowle Golf Club in Bristol had had two earlier ‘aces’ but not in competition.

“It was a super five iron that never looked like going anywhere but close,” he said. “The eighth has an elevated green so we didn’t see the ball drop but when we got to the green it wasn’t to be seen so I felt it had a good chance of being in the cup.”

An engineer at Rolls Royce at Filton, Durston would have finished second on his own but he missed a three-foot birdie putt on the last to finish with 36 points. Losing second place on countback was agony for Darby as he had finished runner-up in the event last year at Isle of Purbeck.