Ian McEntee ended a wait of more than 30 years when he won the Durham County Matchplay Championship over his home course, South Moor.
“I first entered this championship when I was 18,” said 51-year-old McEntee. “It’s taken some time, but now it’s been worth the wait.”
McEntee defeated Castle Eden’s Stuart Brown 2&1 in the final, in which he was always ahead and was 3up at one stage before Brown, who beat county champion Chris Handy and former winner Rhys Thompson on his way to the final, pegged him back only for his putter to go cold on him as he three-putted 12, 13 and 14 and then missed another short putt at 16.
McEntee was a member of the South Moor team who won the Durham County Clubs Championship last season and his win is the second year in succession both the county championship and matchplay champions have gone to one club.
Last year, Tyneside Golf Club’s Kris Rae and James Wilson did the honours and this year Handy and McEntee have given South Moor cause for celebration.
Meanwhile David Conway ended a long wait for his first county title when he won the Durham County Seniors Championship at Houghton – but it took a playoff for the Boldon golfer to triumph.
Conway (73, 77) and Whitburn’s Mike Baker (75, 75) were tied on 150 and could not be separated in a three-hole aggregate playoff – all shared with pars. Conway broke the stalemate and lifted the trophy at the first sudden-death hole.
“I’ve been trying to win a county championship for more than 30 years and I’m chuffed to have finally done so,” said Conway.