SOME golfers have been trying for years to reach the last eight of the Observer Golf Shield - so Shaun Hudson certainly has beginner’s luck.
The 16-year-old Accrington Golf Club member is a debutant in the competition this year and is now anticipating a quarter-final clash.
"I am really pleased as it is my first year in the competition," said Shaun who has just left Fearns High School and will be going onto St Mary’s College.
"I entered, just wanting to do my best in the competition and now I have just got to try and carry on. It has been tough and I have had some hard draws and I was pleased to beat one former finalist Paul Murphy in the earlier rounds.
"I have not played any level games yet and have always been playing six or seven handicappers and I have had to play well. I will just try to keep it going."
Shaun, whose handicap is 11 and who faces Steve Bramwell in the last eight, got into golf about five years ago and had a good mentor - former Open competitor Trevor Foster.
"Trevor is a family friend and has known me since I was a baby. He used to take me to the driving range and he has been encouraging me," continued Shaun.
"He might have watched my quarter-final but his daughter, Nikki, is playing for England so he is away."
But one man who will be keeping tabs on Shaun is his dad, Shaun senior, who is his caddy.
"My dad doesn’t play golf but has been caddying for me. It’s great as he keeps me calm. He is looking forward to the quarter-finals and I need to book a day to play Steve when my dad can get a day off work. He won’t miss it."
And top quality caddy’s seem to be the order of the day as another quarter-finalist Mark Beard has got a secret weapon in his quest to become the Observer golf champion - winner from the last two year's Dave Grimshaw.
The Accrington golfer, who plays off 17, has reached the quarter-finals but used Grimshaw as his caddy for his last 16 win.
"I bumped into Dave at the club and asked him about being a caddy as my putting hadn’t been too good.
"He said he would guide me around the course and his influence made all the difference as I was putting for fun.
"He said he will now caddy for me as far as I go."