Dan celebrating his moment in the sun

Chorley golfer Dan Whalley has recently won the Nike Matchplay Championship in Portugal.
Chorley golfer Dan Whalley has recently won the Nike Matchplay Championship in Portugal.

Keen golfer Daniel Whalley surprised everybody including himself as he scooped first place in the Grand Final of the Nike Matchplay Championship.

Whalley,19, from Brinscall played the game of his life to win the tournament which was staged in the Algarve, Portugal by nine points.

The win was the first national title of his career.

His outstanding efforts saw him win a plate shield and a custom-made Rory McIlroy Nike driver.

Played at the Vale de Lovo Golf Course, Daniel took on many other quality players over 72 holes.

The four-day event was played in glorious sunshine and by day three, the greenkeeper realised he had a huge opportunity to win the event.

Whalley told the Guardian “It’s a huge shock. I managed to win with 140 points and second placed had 131, so it was quite a convincing victory.

“Everybody at home was completely shocked – I don’t think they thought I could win this but they are proud.

“It took a while for me to think I can actually win, but it was the start of day three I suddenly thought, I can actually do it.

“That’s the end of the road for this competition and it’s been a great experience.”

The victory has only boosted the confidence Whalley, who works at his grandad’s golf course.

And it is his grandad who has played a huge role in his golfing career.

He added: “My grandad is one of my biggest fans.

“He owns Highfield Golf Course in Higher Wheelton and he gives me all the time off I need to play.

“He was surprised but he was so proud.

“It was an adult competition and it’s given me plenty of confidence to go and enter more events.

“And that’s what I plan to do.”

Despite being on a hot run of form, Whalley isn’t too keen on getting back on the course straight away.

“It’s too cold at the moment to start playing. I’ll be back playing once the weather warms up a little bit.

“I just want to keep entering and keep playing now and hopefully I can do well in future events.”