Andrew Minnikin wins third Northumberland County Championship

City of Newcastle’s Andrew Minnikin finished off a superb week of golf with victory in Northumberland’s County Championship at Whitley Bay.

Having qualified through 36 holes of Strokeplay on Saturday at Whitley Bay, Andrew made the trip to Middlesbrough Golf Club the following day – where he won the NYSD Championship. Returning to Whitley Bay, he overcame three of the county’s best young players – James Wilson, who beat Andrew in last year’s county championship final; Joseph Robson; and Angus Buchanan – to reach the final. Facing clubmate Phil Ridden in the 36-hole final, the pair traded narrow leads throughout. At the 36th hole, Andrew made a key up and down for birdie from the greenside bunker to take the match back down the first, where his birdie four was enough to earn him a third county championship title.

“It’s a great feeling to be a three-time county champion,” said Andrew. “As the years go on, you wonder if you can still win these events, so it’s great to prove I can still compete with the best in the county.

“While I played the youngsters through the week, it was good to face off against one of the most established county players in the final. It was a little different playing against a good friend and a regular foursomes partner, and we knew it was going to be very close before we teed off. I played well in the morning and Phil won the last two holes before heading into lunch, but I manged to claw those back early in the afternoon and from there it was a very tight game with some very solid golf and many swings in momentum. The closing stretch saw some fantastic golf from both of us and it was a great feeling to make the birdies on 18 and the first under real pressure to get over the line.”

Following his win, Andrew – along with Phil – headed to the English Mid-Amateur (Logan Trophy) at Thropeness.