Rockliffe Hall gearing up for Senior Tour return

The Northern Echo: CELEBRATION TIME: Steen Tinning after sinking the final putt to win last year’s English Senior Open at Rockcliffe Hall CELEBRATION TIME: Steen Tinning after sinking the final putt to win last year’s English Senior Open at Rockcliffe Hall

EUROPEAN Senior Tour golf will return to Rockliffe Hall this summer, with tournament organisers determined to make sure it is the “biggest” sporting event in the region this year.

Following the success of the English Senior Open’s first visit to County Durham last October, it is hoped the August date in 2014 will be an even greater success story.

Warwick Brindle, chairman of Rockliffe Hall, who is drawing on the experience of Stockton Council's events team having previously hosted the Seve Trophy in 2005, said: “We’re incredibly proud to be the hosts of what will be the biggest one-off sporting event in the North-East this year. If last year was anything to go by, we’re expecting even more interest in the tournament this year as people travelled from all over the north to watch. The feedback from spectators, the European Senior Tour and the players was superb.”

Yesterday was the launch of the English Senior Open at Rockliffe Hall and The Northern Echo will be an official media partner in the build up to the event, which was won six months ago impressively by Steen Tinning when more than 5,000 spectators turned up to watch.

The search is on for a sponsor of the event, but it is hoped that some of the biggest names in European golf will be heading to the Hurworth course near Darlington over the three day event which takes place on the Bank Holiday weekend, from Friday, August 22-24. A pro-am will take place on Thursday, August 21.

European Senior Tour managing director, Andy Stubbs, said: “After the immense success of last year’s English Senior Open at Rockliffe Hall and the incredible support we got from the North-East, it’s great to be back again announcing our plans for August.

“It was an outstanding year for the European Senior Tour with the players performing incredibly well on Rockliffe Hall’s superb course. It really is a five-star venue that put on a great tournament for us and we’re really looking forward to announcing a strong field of players in the coming months.”

It is hoped the likes of Sam Torrance, Colin Montgomerie and Constantino Rocca will join the field this time around as part of their summer schedule.

Rockliffe’s European Tour pro Graeme Storm said: “Last year’s Tour was a phenomenal success and everyone’s even more excited about this year. This is a major tournament and for Rockliffe Hall to host an event of this level for the second year running - only five years after its launch - and proves we really do have a magnificent golf course at the heart of the North-East.”

Anyone interested in further details about the title sponsorship can contact Rockliffe Hall on 01325 729999 or enquiries@rockliffehall.com * For a more in depth look at how the European Senior Tour hopes Rockliffe Hall can make the most of this year’s Ryder Cup buzz read Thursday’s Fraser from the Fairway golf column.

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