McCririck wins Durham matchplay title

Martin McCririck clinched his second Durham County Matchplay Championship with a dramatic sudden death playoff win over Jack Richardson at Beamish Park.

Both players shared a dozen birdies in the 18-hole final as Jack holed an excellent 5ft par putt on the last to force extra time.

In the playoff, a par at the first extra hole was good enough for South Shields-based Martin to add a second matchplay title to his 2013 triumph.

Winner of Durham’s 2021 order of merit, 33-year-old Martin has been capped more than 50 times for his county and overcame Heworth’s Aaron Scott 2&1 in the semi-finals as Jack beat Bishop Auckland’s James Glenn 1up. 

“It was a close run final,” said Martin. “We must have shared 12 birdies and Jack played very well.

“It was a tough, really good game and very enjoyable, and I’m pleased to have won.

“I’ve been playing okay – enjoying my golf and I’m a little bit more relaxed and a little bit more mature than I’ve been in the past. 

“I hope to fit in a couple of big events this year depending on work and being able to fit something into my schedule.”