Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kickboxing Helps Make 'Sicknote' a Champion; Tournament Wild Card Couldn't Have Won without Fitness Regime

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kickboxing Helps Make 'Sicknote' a Champion; Tournament Wild Card Couldn't Have Won without Fitness Regime

Article excerpt

Byline: Tim Taylor at Close House

RICHARD Aisbitt knows all about the powers of recovery, having spent three years taking painkillers every time he played golf until finding his miracle healer six weeks ago.

Yet even Lazurus would have given up on winning The Journal Champion of Champions had he encountered the barrage of dropped shops which battered the former Durham County champion on his front nine over the Lee Westwood Filly Course at Close House yesterday.

Having birdied the first, Aisbitt bogeyed the third and the fifth and a double bogey at seven put him three over par for a tournament in which, ultimately, he was to become the only player in a seriously elite regional field to score better than two over. His par 70 also became the course record because since Westwood masterminded the Filly's PS1m revamp, which was unveiled in July, Close House have played no medal competitions off the big boys' tees.

The story of how the 39-year-old father-of-two lifted The Journal trophy and the first prize of a PS500 Close House voucher also started in July.

"I was the sort of Darren Anderton of golf," he said. "I was getting called 'Sicknote' because I was always crying off from tournaments with a bad back and I was starting to get a bit desperate."

He turned to Aron Williams, a fitness trainer at the Redworth Hall Hotel and Leisure Club, near Bishop Auckland.

Aisbitt said: "With him I do all the usual stretching exercises but he also involves a sort of kickboxing routine.

I was a bit sceptical at first, but the fact is it works. It has been goodbye to the painkillers ever since because there has been no more pain."

Aisbitt works in a different sort of body repair shop, for cars, with Alan Reid Ltd in Shildon, near his home in Bishop Auckland. If the reconstruction of his round of golf yesterday was anything to go by, he must know a lot about putting bits back together. …

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