Golf shorts: Winning start for Durham

AN opener for the new season went well for Durham County Golf Union when they comfortably out-pointed Teesside Union at Seaton Carew.

Things could not have started any better for Durham when they took a lead through Andrew Wilson & Chris Handy’s defeat of Tom Smith and Sam Donald 5&4.

Then there were further victories for Rhys Thompson & Martin McCririck, Stuart Brown & Stephen Alexander, Paul Ward & Chris Hewitt and Sam Robinson & Kris Rae. It was not a clean sweep for Durham, though, because Julian Wynn & Nat Poole claimed the final foursome point for Teesside.

In the singles, Teesside got off to a positive start by halving the opener when Eaglescliffe’s Tom Smith finished all square with Darlington’s Wilson. Cleveland’s Tom Coulson then won his dual with Castle Eden’s Stuart Brown.

But Durham did not lose another singles match until the end when Wynn defeated Heworth’s Paul Ward 4&3.

There were Durham wins for McCririck, Thompson, Handy, Gavin Nesbit, Dan Beeson, Rae, and Stephen Alexander. Ramside’s Hewitt finished all square with Eaglescliffe’s Sam Donald, with Durham eventually winning 14-4.

Durham have a few weeks break, with their next game against the Durham Juniors at Billingham on April 13.

PROMISING Teesside student Angus Montgomery has made the sweetest of starts to life in America.

Montgomery, a member of Middlesbrough’s Brass Castle, has got things up and running with a win in the Cardinal Invitational, which follows three more top five finishes.

He had already equalled a North Idaho College record low round of 64 in October’s Yellow Jacket invitational but overcoming 71 other golfers to claim the Invitational.

DURHAM’S successful junior order of merit - the Mizuno Race 2 Rockliffe – continues to go from strength to strength.

The 2014 competition will feature new qualifying events after a season in which more than 140 boys and girls played over 800 rounds of golf between them in a bid to be one of the finalists who competed at Rockliffe Hall.

This year will see the 16 qualifying events start with the Durham County Junior Golf Society Spring Meeting on April 17 building up to the grand final on August 31.

Carl Moorfoot, from Woodham GC, became the third Race 2 Rockliffe champion, winning a set of Mizuno clubs, while Natasha Martin, from Beamish Park, won the 2013 nett championship.

The Race 2 Rockliffe order of merit is again completely free to enter and open to any club member in County Durham with a CONGU Handicap (max 28 boys/36 girls) aged under 21 on January 1.

Players can find further information, registration details and rules by visiting the Durham County Golf Partnership website www.durhamgolfpartnership.com

The full list of qualifying events is: April 17 - DCJGS Spring Meeting (Hartlepool); May 5 - DCJGS Green & Crombie Trophy (Whickham); May 26 -Junior Open (Billingham); June 8 - Junior Open (Ramside Hall); July 6 -Junior Open (Brancepeth Castle); July 21 - Junior Open (Houghton le Spring); July 25 - Junior Open (Dinsdale Spa); July 28 - Junior Open (Wearside); July 31 - Junior Open (Crook); August 5 - CJGS Jack Golightly (South Moor); August 7- Junior Open (Chester-le-Street); August 12 - Junior Open (Boldon); August 15 - Junior Open (Bishop Auckland); August 18 - Junior Open (Beamish Park); August 21 - Junior Open (Tyneside GC); August 25 - Junior Open (Durham City); August 31 - Grand Final (Rockliffe Hall).

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