THE Lee Westwood Golf Tour is heading in to a second year and more than 500 young golfers are expected to battle it out for their place at the national final - and the opportunity to meet former world number 1 and Ryder Cup star Lee Westwood.

The tour, which starts in April, is played over four months and provides the opportunity for junior golfers to play in a national golf tournament at a local level. There was plenty of North-East interest last year, with tournaments taking place across the region at the likes of Close House, Ramside and Rockliffe Hall.

To join the tour or for more information please contact Lee Westwood Golf Tour manager Stuart Blair 01829 730 753, or visit the website

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Membership to the tour will be either £39 for basic or £89 for membership plus. Each event will cost £25.00 to enter. (A saving of £5 per event and £10 off the joining fee compared to 2013)

THE region’s Tour pros got off to mixed starts at the Commericalbank Qatar Masters yesterday.

All are looking for improvement in the Middle East after missing the cut at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship last week.

But Hartlepool’s Graeme Storm has work to do to make the cut again. He is well down the leaderboard in Doha after carding an opening round 74, two over.

Barnard Castle’s Rob Dinwiddie is better placed after his 71 in the early sunshine, while Malton & Norton’s Simon Dyson went one better with a 70.

ONE of the North-East’s greenkeepers has been crowned the Greenkeeper of the Year.

Steve Cram was recognised for his work in keeping Slaley Hall’s Hunting course in excellent condition throughout the year.

The last 12 months were an exciting time for Slaley, who held tournaments such as the Glenmuir PGA Championship and PGA Cup.

And Cram - also part of the team at Mottram Hall in Cheshire for the ISPS HANDA PGA Seniors Championship - was delighted to be singled out in such a way.

He said: “It’s an absolute honour to win such a prestigious award and to be recognised by my peers.

“I am lucky enough to have worked on 19 separate European Tour and European Senior Tour events, plus numerous Q-School events.

“However it wouldn’t have been possible on my own. I have to thank everyone at Slaley Hall and De Vere for their continued support, and most importantly my dedicated team of greenkeepers who have made this award possible.”