EAGLESCLIFFE is celebrating a title double after success stories in two of the biggest competitions in the Durham area of the year.

A day after teenager Will Skipp successfully became the Durham County Boys’ champion on his own track, club-mate Tom Smith triumphed in the Northern Masters at Rockliffe Hall.

The victories were celebrated at Eaglescliffe, where the Boys Championship was held and witnessed some impressive golf.

Skipp, 16, carded two solid rounds of 71-73 to edge out Houghton’s Ryan Lewis-Mackie and Eaglescliffe’s Will Alexander by four shots, enhancing a reputation that has already seen him win the Under-16s crown twice and the Under-14s equivalent.

Only this time felt sweeter for him because he successfully delivered at a time when his main goal is to do well in his GCSEs, which he has been studying for at Hartlepool’s Dyke House College.

Skipp said: “It feels amazing as it’s the first one I’ve gone into where I didn’t see myself as favourite because of exams and I wasn’t playing very well before Saturday.

“As it was my home course didn’t help either because people just expected me to win which just added more pressure.

“But both rounds went really well. I just tried to play within myself and didn’t attack anything too much because that’s when things have gone wrong for me.

“There weren’t really many highlights from my rounds because I just played it safe most of the time. I did make a two on the Par 3 sixth in both rounds, hitting it too about four feet both times.

“Next I just want to get my exams and out of the way and concentrate on golf over the summer to prepare for national events and hopefully have a few good finishes to push towards getting a national call up.”

In the Under-16s, which Skipp has succeeded in for the last two years, there was glory for Ramside’s Adam Charlton when his 70 beat George Washington’s Duran Gun by three shots.

Heworth’s Ben Willis claimed the Under-14s crown when his 78 was two better than Harry Etherington of Ramside and Nicky Lee Shield of Barnard Castle.

Smith claimed the Northern Masters 24 hours later. He shot 71-70 to win by one from Consett’s Jeff Pitt 72-70, with Jake Benson (Beeston Fields) third on 69-74.

Smith won the NYSD Championship for the third time in a row last year and also claimed the Bishop Auckland Bowl as his first scratch open triumph.

He partnered Sam Donald, his Eaglescliffe team-mate, to the Northumberland and Durham Inter County Foursomes title too. He said: “After Sam won it twice, it’s the one I’ve always wanted to win.”

It was a big weekend on the Durham scene, where it was also the first ever Girls Golf Rocks on Tour event to be held in the North of England.

This one took place at Seaton Carew, where the weather was glorious and the Durham County Elite Girls supported the young golfers taking part.

Abbie Brown from Castle Eden, Ella Jackson from Seaton Carew and three past Junior Captains - Ella Crang, Shannon O’Dwyer and Kitana Hollins – were together with Junior Captain 2018 Amy Sutheran to form teams in a fun Texas Scramble.

Grace Storm’s team had a distinct advantage because her father, European Tour golfer Graeme Storm, caddied.

The girls will head to the next event at Eaglescliffe on Wednesday, July 18 at 6pm. All young girls who are new to golf are welcome to play.

  • To enter go onto the Get into Golf website and click on Eaglescliffe.

A CHARITY golf day hosted by Sir Tony McCoy at Rockliffe Hall, meanwhile, raised £3490 for the Injured Jockeys Fund.

Alan Shearer, Tony Pulis, Neil Bausor and Graham Wylie were among those to take part, which was won by Rockliffe Hall members Paul Morrison, Rob Wytcherley, Kevin English and Colin Forster.

Eighteen teams of four competed with James Bell Junior winning Nearest the Pin and Andy Herridge winning Longest Drive.