2017 Champions


Simon Hughes & Simon Lewis

"Everything had to be right on the day, and it was."

Ages: 51, 53

Handicaps: 4, 9
Home Clubs: Royston Golf Club, Barkway Golf Club
Score: 42
Golf heroes: Ernie Els, Fred Couples, Ian Poulter


Simon and Simon, congratulations on the big win and becoming the 2017 Trilby Twos Champions! How does it feel?

Hughes: A bit surreal, but a great feeling to be considered Champions of a National event.
Lewis: It took a couple of days to sink in really. Now it has, I feel inspired and very proud of myself. I achieved something I didn't think was possible. That's a very satisfying feeling. When I look back, I realise how hard it was to win. Everything had to be right on the day, and it was. To hear those words "Trilby Champions" was surreal. It's a dream come true. I have played a few singles championships over the last couple of years and have been watching closely for 6 years on Sky since watching Rocky and James win in the inaugural Trilby Twos. That was the day the candle was lit. That was the day I said to myself "I want some of that!". Now I have it I can't be happier.

Tell us about your experience on the day. How do you feel the nerves compared from the 1st to the 3-hole play off?

Hughes: Nervous on the first tee, but hit a reasonable drive, so settled quite quickly. Simon and I dovetailed pretty well from the beginning, so a score was building, it got a bit pressured in the last few holes. Playoff was less nervy I think as it was beyond expectation really, so just wanted to enjoy it (and I did!).
Lewis: I did have a few nerves on the first tee of course, but that was it until the playoffs. I have never experienced that level of intensity before. It was like being in a pressure cooker with everyone waiting for you to play your shot. Knowing all eyes were on us was actually quite terrifying. To focus for so long to achieve our goal was unreal, but that's what the Trilby is all about. It's another level up from club golf. I now know what it takes and there are not many who can say that at this level. The first 18 holes are one thing, but the 3 playoff holes are something completely different. There is no hiding, it's all or nothing, make or break!


Have you played in any other regional Trilby Championships?

Hughes: No, first experience of anything like it.
Lewis: I have played a few regional championships but never really made an impact. In my first Trilby at Hanbury Manor I thought it would be easy to qualify for the Grand Final. How wrong could I be. It takes commitment and courage to qualify, let alone win. Last year I thought there was a chance to win the doubles in Hull, but with hindsight now it was never going to happen. We just didn't click or communicate enough. Thinking your going to win rarely means you will. 

How did you cope with the cameras on the day?

Hughes: Ok I think. Tough to keep concentration with such long gaps between shots in the playoff, especially the last drive when we had a one shot lead.
Lewis: To be really honest, as I said earlier, except for on the first tee, the cameras didn't have any affect on me. The pressure does not come from the camera, the pressure comes from within. I have found that out through experience. I saw them occasionally but if you're focused enough they are invisible. Until the playoff that is! Now that's another game all together. You know they are there, you know they are pointing at you, you know you can't afford to make a mistake and know if you do, the world will see it.



Where is your trophy now?

Hughes: Simon L has it - deservedly so.
Lewis: Our trophy is proudly sitting on a shelf in my lounge. I have it for 6 months and my partner Simon has it for the 2nd 6 months. That way he is responsible for bringing the trophy back safely!


Did you ever think, going into the day, that you would not only qualify for the International Grand Final but also be bringing home a Trilby Tour Regional Championship trophy?

Hughes: No. Of course there was hope, but not expectation. Once in the playoff, foursomes medal format means that we stood a chance, regardless of the experience of some of the other players.
Lewis: For the 3-4 months leading up to the Championship I was ill. If it hadn't been for the support of my wife, Sarah, I would not have been at Magnolia Park on the day. It would also not have been possible if it hadn't been for John Lewis. Their support from the day I was diagnosed was invaluable. I knew on the morning of the Championship we had a chance, I was fit and feeling good. I never doubted that the partner I had was a winner on the course, and if he played to his handicap or better then all I needed to do was follow him. His tactical awareness was priceless from the first to the last tee. We had a fantastic start and just kept building on that. I started to struggle around the 15th with tiredness, I told my daughter who was my caddy this, and this is where she came into her own. She dragged me round the last 3 holes and I will always be indebted to her for this. She was so strong for me which is why this win means so much. My family had supported me from the start and it was Dani who pushes me over the line. Although it was nerve wracking in the palyoff, I knew it was ours to lose. The adrenaline was running high but that's where everything came together and the title was won.


Tell us about your background?

Hughes: Not very exciting I am afraid. I have worked in financial services my whole career. Happily married for 27 years to Helen with two grown up kids, Jess and Josh. Josh was my caddy on the day which was great.
Lewis: I had a wonderful childhood. My parents were very hard working and always encouraged my brother and I to play sport. I'm married to Sarah and have a fantastic son, daughter and granddaughter. I'm a very lucky man. I have worked for John Lewis as a LGV driver for 15 yrs now. I love my driving, whether I'm in a car or trucking around the country. Most of my golf is played at Barkway Park. The course is long and hard and the members are all so very friendly and welcoming.

How did you find the clothing?

Hughes: I thought it was great - we looked very smart and was comfortable to wear. 
Lewis: It was the first time I had been trusted to choose our clothes this year, without the input of my wife Sarah and daughter Dani's expertise, but I have to say I got it spot on. I'm noy one for fashion, so I actually surprised myself! The choice was good, again I have to say, when I put them on "it just felt right". They were so comfortable and extremely smart. We were looking and feeling good. I didn't feel out of place standing there on the first tee. I just felt very comfortable.


What has been your greatest achievement so far?

Hughes: In life in general it is my kids - they both make me very proud. In golf, it is perhaps defending the Club Championship at my club this year and having the honour of being Captain at Barkway Park in 2015.
Lewis: In sporting terms I have won a few competitions over the years as we all have. Apart from my fantastic wife and children it has got to be becoming the 2017 Trilby Twos Champions.



Describe yourself in a sentence...

Hughes: Calm, easy going, quietly competitive and enjoys life.
Lewis: This is the hardest question!!! I can be too opinionated at times but I'm an honest, loving, caring person who in sport doesn't like coming second and someone who never gives up.

How will you go about defending your Trilby Tour Championship title next year?

Hughes: Turn up and play as well as we can on the day. Hopefully it will be good enough again.
Lewis: The hardest Trilby for me is over. The first win is always the hardest. Next year I will be back to full fitness. I will be stronger with a lot more experience. I now know how to win a competition. Whether that is on a Sunday morning with my mates or here, on the Trilby Tour. Hopefully with this experience I can push on and lower my handicap and who knows maybe take a few club titles off my partner Simon back at Barkway Park! I'm confident we will be close in 2018, but I know, as we all know, it's all on the day. There are another 130+ golfers with the same ambition out there in front of you. We know we are targets now, and that's good. I think that's where we all want to be. Let's just say I doubt that we will go down without a long hard fight!




What's your motto in life?

Hughes: Worrying is generally a wasted emotion
Lewis: Dream, Believe, Achieve


Any last words for William Hunt and the Trilby Tour Team?

Hughes: Just thanks for a great occasion. I am really pleased that Simon asked me to partner him to have had the opportunity to play on a really well run event.
Lewis: William Hunt needs a knighthood for his services to the 1000's upon 1000's of amateur golfers across the country that he has helped achieve their dreams. All of his team make everything so real. From all the quality golf clubs we visit, to the score board which holds everyone's attention for so long at every venue, it's what our dreams are made of. 99.9% of us will never be a professional golfer, but for several times a year, because of William and his Team "We Are Professionals".






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