LIVERPOOL fan Jason Forristal hopes his victory in the Mail Open is a lucky omen for his beloved Reds.

Forristal’s one previous victory in the competition came in 2005, the year Liverpool were last crowned kings of Europe after their famous comeback victory against Milan.

And with Jurgen Klopp’s men aiming to end the 13-year-wait for another Champions League final victory on Saturday, when they take on Real Madrid in Kiev, Forristal is praying history repeats itself.

The 47-year-old lifted the Festival of Britain Trophy at Furness on Saturday after the 14-handicapper carded a nett round of 67.

“I’m over the moon. I’m absolutely buzzing,” said the BAE Systems ancillary worker.

“I won it 2005 and I’m a massive Liverpool fan, and coincidentally Liverpool won the Champions League that year.

“I’ve won again in 2018 and they are in the final again so I’m hoping it’s a sign – fingers crossed!”

Teeing off alongside playing partners Kev Henry and Dave Finlayson in mid-morning, Forristal found the near-perfect conditions at the Walney links to his liking, and he was delighted with how he performed.

Apart from ‘a bit of a blip’ on the eleventh and twelth holes, Forristal played consistently throughout and ended very strongly, with five pars on the last five holes proving decisive as he won on a card countback from Ian Alderson.

Former Barrow Raiders player Darren Holt was one shot back in third, with Andy Scanlon also carding a 68 for fourth place.

“My driving, my ironwork and my putting – everything just came together on the day,” said Forristal.

“I had a bit of a blip on 11 and 12 but I got my head together and got back in the game. I parred the last five holes including a massive putt on the 17th, and I think that’s what won it for me.

“Kev (Henry) said to me towards the end ‘do you want to know how you’re doing?’ I said no. I knew I was doing well, but I just wanted to get my head down and keep going.”

With Forrsital back in the clubhouse by mid-afternoon he then faced ‘an agonising wait’ for more than four hours to find out that his name was on the trophy, as some of the 153 entrants were still out on the course until early evening.

Unlike in 2005, when he couldn’t celebrate because he had to work a night-shift, Forrsital enjoyed a few drinks on Saturday evening.

“We had an 18th birthday party to go to afterwards and I sank a few drinks!,” he said.

“I couldn’t celebrate last time I won so I made up for it this time!”

He added: “I’d like to thank the Mail for their continued support and everyone at Furness. The course was in absolutely fantastic condition. The green-keepers have done a fantastic job.

“The conditions were perfect. It was a lovely day with no wind, which is unusual for Walney!”


Winner: Jason Forristal (handicap 14) 67 nett; runner-up Ian Alderson (Bishop Auckland, 20 handicap) 67 nett; 3rd: Darren Holt (Barrow, 13 handicap) 68 nett; 4th: Andy Scanlon (handicap 6) 68 nett: 5th: Lee Jefferson (handicap 18) 69 nett.

Best gross: Steve McDonald 72; Second gross: Dennis Crabtree 72;

Nearest to the pins: P McCartan, J Whetstone, R Crawford.