Mini’s the driving force

Andy Minnikin has continued his great form over the last few years at county level with victory in the Northumberland County Championship at Blyth Golf Club.

Minnikin, who won his first county championship back in 2013 and has missed the event in the last four years due to a clash with the English Mid Amateur, came through the 36-hole qualifying in sixth place before the four rounds of matchplay.

“I’ve been in a great run of form in the county events these last few years and I’m really proud to win the county championship again. As an amateur golfer, there’s very few prizes bigger than your county championship,” said Minnikin.

He met Craig Taylor in the first matchplay round before beating county teammates Sean Heads (3&2), Andrew Gibson (19th hole) and Craig Penny (6&4) in the
36-hole final.

“It’s a long week with a lot of golf. I qualified pretty well at one under-par and then had a really mixed week of matches with some very good golf and some very scrappy golf – particularly against Sean in the quarter-final.

“In the final, I got my nose in front early on going 2up through three holes and then getting to 4up through the first 18. From there, I got another fast start in the second round going 7up through 23 holes but Craig fought back really well to pull it back. From there I managed to birdie the 12th and par 13 and 14 to close it out. There was a lot of really good golf between us in both rounds of the final and I’m really proud to have come through it and got the trophy in my hands again.”

Andy’s secured his ninth county title at Blyth and his seventh in five years. He heads to the English Mid Amateur at Long Ashton Golf Club this month hoping to better his second place finish in 2015.