A TEENAGER is looking to follow in the footsteps of Darlington pro Andrew Wilson after shining on the North-East stage this summer.

While Wilson embarked on his first full season since leaving his amateur days behind and making a dream appearance at The Open at Royal Portrush, 14-year-old Callum Moncur was making his own mark locally.

Moncur, like Wilson did, attends Education Village, formerly Haughton School, and learned to play the game at Darlington and now Rockliffe Hall. The hard work he has put in certainly paid off this year when he was crowned the Northern Junior Golf Tour champion.

He hopes that is merely the start of a long and successful golfing story, having placed his attention on a future in the game and a goal of playing on the main Tours – which is what Wilson is pushing for himself – while ensuring he has the back up of qualifications behind him too.

“My hope is to become a scratch handicap golfer as soon as I can and to pass my GCSE exams to either go to Durham Sixth Form to study golf or and go on a golf scholarship,” said Moncur, who already has his first sponsor in Nurture Mortgages.

“Hopefully I will secure more sponsorship in the future to help me turn pro and then go on a Tour, qualify for the British Open like someone I know from Darlington Andrew Wilson!”

Moncur only started playing golf a few years ago so he has already made huge progress. Wilson has spoken to him a number of times and suggested that “Callum is really nice lad who’s really dedicated to practice and putting in the hours to succeed.”

Moncur’s father, Warren, has been hugely impressed with his son’s approach. He said: “Callum started to play more golf after spending two years in a football academy. He was then released after he began to lose his pace, putting weight on due to having type one diabetes from the age of four. That requires insulin through an omni-pod and constant blood sugar testing five-six times every day.

“In the last three years Callum’s handicap has come down from 40 to eight and when Callum started to play he had never played golf before or had a lesson.

“The first time James (Cousins) the pro at Darlington watched him he said ‘you’re natural and you should stick at it’. To this day Callum has never stopped playing the game and also recently joined Rockliffe Hall too, playing at Dinsdale Spa with other junior mates many times as well.”

Callum won the overall Regional Final at Alnmouth’s Foxton Hall with his 40-gross, one ahead of William Hixon, in tough wet and windy conditions. The County Durham champ progressed to that stage by starring in three of the five qualifying events from Durham.

Not only did he record the best gross scores at Barnard Castle and Garesfield, he also won the best nett at Dinsdale Spa to book his place in the final because of his high placing on the order of merit. He posted his brilliant finish in the overall final.

He said: “The top five players in every handicap standard qualified to represent the county in the final at Foxton Hall against similar high standard players of the same age group from Durham, Northumberland, Yorkshire and Cumbria.

“After a nightmare first two holes where I double bogeyed both, I held myself together and played some fantastic golf shots, gaining birdies and pars to come in with the excellent score of 40 to win the competition by one shot.

“It’s capped a nice year for me because it helped to bring my handicap down to eight after starting the season in March on 18. This has been through the backing and help of the members at Darlington who have been fantastic in both sections. I have had some great guidance and coaching from James Cousins too.”

Wilson, meanwhile, was unable to close off the PGA EuroPro Tour season at Aberdeen’s Newmachar Golf Club because of illness. Success at Linden Hall, coupled with other displays, earlier in the year meant the Darlington man had already qualified for the Tour final at Desert Springs in Almeria. He will look to climb from seventh up to the top six that would secure a place on the Challenge Tour for 2020.