Roper excited to welcome England Open to Rockliffe

HOME COURSE: Darlington's Roger Roper in action at last year's English Senior Open. He has been invited to play in this year's tournament at Rockliffe Hall alongside the likes of Sam Torrence and Ian Woosnam Picture: TOM BANKS

HOME COURSE: Darlington's Roger Roper in action at last year's English Senior Open. He has been invited to play in this year's tournament at Rockliffe Hall alongside the likes of Sam Torrence and Ian Woosnam Picture: TOM BANKS

First published in Sport The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

ONE of the North-East’s top golfing stars is hoping to make an impact in an upcoming major European Tournament.

Darlington’s Roger Roper is set to play in the European Senior Tour English Open at home club Rockliffe Hall Golf Club after being invited to participate with two other North-East golfers.

Roger will represent Rockliffe Hall in the tournament, which takes place over the August Bank Holiday Weekend from Friday, August 22 to the 24.

And Roper admits he is privileged to get the chance to represent his club in such a big event.

“I’m very proud to see my contribution to the club pay off and a great honor to receive this invitation,” he said.

“Rockliffe Hall is a great club to be associated with and it will be a great place to hold the event.

“The weather last time around was excellent and I except things to be just as good this year.”

Roper will be joined by fellow North-East players John Harrison, from Matfen Hall, and Eaglescliffe Golf Club’s Graeme Bell, who were also invited.

The trio will be teeing off against the likes of former Ryder Cup captains Ian Woosnam, Sam Torrance and Mark James as well as last year’s winner Steen Tinning.

While he has already played with the likes of Woosnam and James, Roper revealed he is looking forward to playing them again.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to playing against some of the household names in the sport.

“I’ve played alongside some of these players in previous events, so it’s not unfamiliar territory for me.

“It’s nice getting involved in these tours and getting the respect from these players.”

This will be the second year in a row that Rockliffe Hall has hosted a Tour event.

Last October more than 500 spectators came to see Tinning win the coveted title.

Roger is looking forward to stepping onto the course with the reigning champion as well as fellow North-East golfers Harrison and Bell.

Roger said: “They’re both great players that I’ve played with for more than 20 years and it’ll be great to play them again at a competition like this.

“Golf’s a game that really lasts in time, where you can keep playing for so many years against some great players over and over.”

“Steen’s a bit of an athlete being in the gym and keeping himself fit, and he’s someone I look forward to competing against.”

Chairman of Rockliffe Hall Warwick Brindle is very proud to have players from the region participating.

Warwick said: “We are delighted to invite three of the most prominent local players to represent the region in the English Senior Open.

“I am sure their supporters will turn out in large numbers to see them take on ten previous Ryder Cup players including stars like Sam Torrance, Ian Woosnam and Costantino Rocca for this prestigious title.

“This year’s field of players is outstanding and we are really pleased that we have three golfers to represent our region here at Rockliffe Hall.”

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