TIME hurtles along. Two decades have birled by since Andrew Oldcorn achieved his greatest triumph at Wentworth. The bothersome aches, pains, hirples and hobbles that are part and parcel of thwacking dimpled balls for a living underline the passing of those years.

“My body tells me it’s 20 years but my mind can’t believe it’s gone by that quickly,” said the 61-year-old with a reflective chuckle.

Oldcorn’s glorious conquest in the Volvo PGA Championship – it is swanky BMW who do the sponsorship now – may have been a surprise to many, but not to the Bolton-born Scot.

Although he was 41 and ranked 137th on the European Order of Merit, he staved off the menacing advances of Angel Cabrera and Nick Faldo to embrace fame, fortune and considerable fulfilment.

“I honestly felt I could win something like the PGA and it was something I should have done a lot earlier in my career,” said Oldcorn, who emerged from a debilitating bout of ME in the early 1990s to win two European Tour titles before his Wentworth tour de force.

“I would have felt unfulfilled had I not won something like that. It was life changing. It gave my career validation. I’d had so many ups and downs and it was sweeter as I was older. At the same time, though, the fact I won it at an older age made it harder for me. Within two or three years, I’d lost my competitive edge.”

With thoroughbreds like Cabrera and Faldo lurking ominously, Oldcorn found himself peering nervously over his shoulder like a man who had just heard a bin lid tumble behind him as he walked down a dimly lit alley. He would stand firm, though. On the closing hole, Oldcorn pulled his second shot, got a free drop from the hospitality unit and executed a delightful chip which set up the final flourish of a birdie.

“That wedge was easily the best shot I’ve ever played,” he said. “It looked quite straightforward on the TV but I had actually dropped it in a divot. But I played it perfectly with soft hands. That shot will always stick in my mind.”

Oldcorn’s PGA win thrust him into new territory and opportunity came knocking like a show hosted by Hughie Green. Qualification for Sam Torrance’s European Ryder Cup suddenly became a very real prospect but a punishing push to make the grade would, quite literally, end in tears.

“After I’d won at Wentworth, I was in the qualifying spots and I said to Sam, ‘I’m never going to get a chance like this again, realistically, so I want to try and play as much as I can’,” recalled Oldcorn. “But I made a mistake.

“In retrospect, I should have gone back to Sam and said I’d have more chance if I took some weeks off. But I played 12 weeks out of 14, with two of them in America. It came to the last counting event in Munich and I still could have made it but my body was in pieces. When I finally realised I hadn’t made the team I was really, really upset. Sam came to see me in the locker room and there were a lot of tears. Three weeks after that, I was gone with my back. I was out for six months. I had paid two heavy prices. Firstly, I got my schedule all wrong trying to make the Ryder Cup and, secondly, I lost a series of opportunities because of the injury.”

Oldcorn had pondered “blagging some hospitality” at this week’s Wentworth showpiece for a glass-clinking, 20th anniversary celebration of his victory but he is playing in the Scottish Senior Open at Royal Aberdeen.

The good old days still stir the senses.

“I do reminisce about it and I still miss that level of golf, with the crowds and the magnitude of the occasion,” he said. “The only thing that would match the Wentworth win would be a Senior Open but that’s unlikely to happen at 61.

“When I’m old and grey, or older and greyer than now,

I’ll look back on the PGA as the greatest moment of my career.”