Gudmund Lindbjerg

Gudmund Lindbjerg

Pitt golfer toughs out back injury to win title

Most 32-year-olds with a back injury would have simply stopped playing. Gudmund Lindbjerg is no 32-year-old.

And he’s no quitter.

Lindbjerg, 62, battled through a strained back he suffered after swinging into a rock buried in a sand trap on the second hole at Squamish Valley Golf Club and a first-round 81 last Tuesday to rally from from four strokes back going into Thursday’s final 18 holes and win an amazing fourth straight B.C. Senior Men’s Championship for players aged 55 to 64 by a single shot.

Lindbjerg hit the ball out of bounds, took a triple bogey, strained his already bad back and considered packing it in for the tourney. Instead, he kept playing –– and brilliantly.

“I ate a few Advils and played through it,” said Lindbjerg, who  fielded interviews from his native Denmark where his feat piqued the interest of his countrymen.

A Pitt Meadows Golf Club member, Lindbjerg recovered enough last Wednesday to fire a 71, then finished up the next day with a sizzling 69 for a five-over-par 221 total to edge Nanaimo’s Tony Hatchwell at 222 for the title. Surrey’s Earl MacPherson and 67-year-old Ron Petersen of Coquitlam –– another Pitt Meadows club member –– tied for third, both at nine-over 229. Petersen, 67, also won the Super Senior Divison.

Lindbjerg said the victory was doubly rewarding given he heard whispers from some fellow-shooters after his shaky first round that he was using his back injury as an excuse to fold.

“I’m not the type of person who wants to back down,” said Lindbjerg, who is set to compete in the Canadian senior men’s championships next Monday through Friday (Aug. 22-26) in Twin Rivers, Nfld. “I didn’t shoot an 81 because I wanted to.”

A big fan of PGA Tom Watson who, like Lindbjerg, is 62, the latter attributes his remarkable success four years running at the provincials to experience and hard work. The virtual scratch golfer plays pretty much daily, adding: “My wife’s thinks something’s wrong when I don’t play.”

“When you’ve been there before, you know how to win,” he continued. “You just have to keep focused on each hole and keep within yourself. You can’t lose it. I do a lot of prep work around the greens… chipping and putting. Especially in Squamish, you have to have a short game to manage that course.”

A golfer has won the B.C. senior men’s crown three times before, but not in a row and never four.

Until now, courtesy of Gudmund Lindbjerg.