Level playing field

Rockliffe Hall-based Ellie Givens landed her first professional win and became the first female winner of the gender-equal 2020protour at her home club.

Ellie shot a four under-par round of 68 in the Rocket Yard Classic at Rockliffe to finish top of the leaderboard alongside fellow Rockliffe-based pro Andrew Wilson.

She said: “It was a really good day and a pleasure to play the event. I’m really grateful that the 2020protour gives men and women equal playing opportunities so close to home. I’m thrilled to get my first professional win and for Andrew and I to be tied at the top is a great way to represent Rockliffe.”

Andrew followed up his first win on the tour with a sensational nine under-par round of 63 at Worsksop Golf Club to share the winner’s cheque with Ashton Turner.

Some of the region’s top professionals have competed in 2020protour events so far this season. Bamburgh Golf Club’s Garrick Porteous, Howley Hall-based Ben Hutchinson and Malton’s David Hague were part of a five-player tie for the title in the sixth event at Wakefield Golf Club. David also picked up a tied win in the third event of the season at Cleckheaton Golf Club.

Moortwon’s Nick McCarthy topped the leaderboard at Howley Hall in the fifth event with a four under-par 67, while Howley-based Marcus Armitage won the season’s fourth event at Oulton Hall.

After eight events, Wath-based Nick Poppleton sits top of the order of merit with Nick McCarthy in second place. David Hague is in third and Marcus Armitage is in fourth. Andrew Wilson sits in fifth place with his two wins.

The events are open to male and female professionals and amateurs, and Northumberland’s Zara Naughton has competed in three events so far – her top finish coming at Oulton Hall, where she finished in a tie for 16th place with a round of 70. The tour was launched by European Tour professionals Chris Hanson and Adam Walker to give women an equal footing with men in a golf tournament – playing for the same prize money, under the same rules and terms of competition, with the only difference being the placement of the tees.