A New Malden restaurateur staved off competition from thousands of golfers, finishing third in the American Golf U.K. Long Drive Championships in Chester.

Charles Seo, who owns the Olle BBQ restaurant in Shaftesbury Avenue, was knocked out in the semi-finals on Thursday August 2 by Knutsford professional golfer Gavin Beddows.

Mr Seo held his nerve in seeding, qualifying with his last drive, before beating 2016 champion Anton Reader in the quarter finals.

Mr Seo said: “The event is getting more and more competitive every year but I’m not happy with my performance today.

“I changed a couple of things during the competition which was a mistake. I’ll be back to try again next year though.”

Matt Bacon, head of events at American Golf, said: “But while it’s amazing to see the established stars, the people I love are the American Golf customers like Charles who just gave it a go and found out they were among the best.

“I love this event and I’m so proud of what everyone has achieved.”