James Harper wins Northumberland & Durham Open

Wynyard-based professional James Harper continued his successful start to the season with victory in the Northumberland & Durham Open at Morpeth Golf Club.

James, who won the NE/NW PGA’s Trump International Pro Am and posted a solid finish at Slaley Hall in the PGA Professionals Championship, led the field of professionals and top amateurs from across the region with rounds of 65 and 68 for a nine under-par total.

“To win one of the NE/NW PGA’s majors is a great feeling,” said James, who was paired with two of his former Durham teammates in the event – pro Mark Ridley and amateur John Kennedy.

“To have a couple of wins already this season validates the effort I’ve put into my game this year – which every PGA pro knows isn’t easy to balance around shop hours, teaching, and raising two children.

“It’s superb to win such a historic event and look at the names on the trophy going all the way back to the 1950s with winners including my first coach and mentor, Seaton Carew’s Bill Hector, who won back in 1964 and 1965.”

Meanwhile, Tim Dykes finished in second place, two shots behind James, as 17-year-old Morgan Blythe – who won the Northumberland Strokeplay Championship over 72 holes at Dunstanburgh over the preceding two days – finished alongside Hexham pro Andy Paisley in a tie for third place and took home the leading amateur prize.