Declan’s the head man

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A NEWARTHILL golfer is celebrating a successful climax to the season after an accident that could have ended his career.

Declan Dooey was knocked unconscious by a golf ball on the tee at Colville Park Golf Club. He was rushed to hospital amid fears that he had sustained a serious head injury.

Luckily, it was only severe concussion and the 20-year-old bounced back from the scare to win the Lanarkshire strokeplay title.

Now Dooey, who is also the Colville Park youths champion, has set his sights on making in impact at national level.

He also has ambitions to turn professional one day and follow in the footsteps of pal Paul O’Hara who was with him when he had his accident at Colville Park earlier this season.

Dooey said: “I had just teed off at the seventh hole and bent down to pick up my tee when I heard someone shout ‘Fore’.

“I stayed down and covered my head as best I could, but the ball still hit me on the head.

“The next thing I remember is being at Wishaw General Hospital. Apparently I was unconscious for about 15 minutes and an ambulance took me to hospital.

“I was given scans and kept in overnight for observation, but luckily it was just bad concussion.”

Dooey was back playing golf after a week and his regular practice paid off when he won the county men’s title over his home course.

He followed this by winning the Colville Cup - based on a series of results over the summer - and his club’s matchplay title.

Dooey, a former Lanarkshire boys’ champion, said his coaches, former Walker Cup player Graham Rankin and Bothwell Castle Golf Club professional Alan McCloskey, have played a big part in his development.

He added: “I have been practising all year so the success isn’t unexpected, but it’s good that everything’s come together and I’ve finished the season on a high.

“My handicap is 1.2 and I’m hoping to get it down some more so I can play in tournaments throughout Scotland next year.

“I’d like to turn pro and follow in Paul’s footsteps, but that won’t happen for a while yet.”