Northumberland’s men win third Big Six title in five years

Northumberland’s men will represent the northern counties in the English Men’s County Championship after winning the Northern Counties Men’s Qualifying Championship – AKA The Big Six – at Manchester Golf Club.

Northumberland were last crowned English champions in 1965 and will make their third visit to the national final in four tournament years (2020’s Big Six was cancelled due to Covid) – following their victories in 2019 at Alnmouth and 2017 at Seascale.

With six players contributing to the team score, Northumberland overcame a 17-shot deficit after round one as Lancashire collapsed to leave Northumberland eight shots of the other six counties on four under-par.

City of Newcastle’s Alex Dixon led the individual scoring with a nine under-par total for two rounds, including the low round of the day (65) in the second round.

Hexham’s Joseph Robson and Close House’s James Wilson finished in fifth place in the individual soring with three under-par totals of 141. City of Newcastle’s Andrew Minnikin posted a one over-par total as Gosforth’s Gary Donnison finished on two over-par and City of Newcastle’s Phil Ridden finished on eight over-par.

Northumberland county captain David Gilroy said: “To win The Big Six for a third time in four attempts is a fantastic achievement for Northumberland. Our preparation was good, the guys were in a good place, and we produced a phenomenal afternoon performance to chase down and pass Lancashire.

“The national final came down to the final putt at Huddersfield in 2019. We learned from that experience, and from the final at Trevose in 2017, and we’ll be well prepared come September.

“To follow up the boys winning the Little Six is fantastic for the county. We’re in a great position with the boys coming through and the men performing well. We’re looking forward to both finals and having the chance to showcase the talent in Northumberland on the national stage.”

Cheshire finished in second place at Manchester with a four over-par total as Yorkshire were third. Lancashire finished fourth, Cumbria were fifth, Durham finished sixth, and Isle of Man finished seventh.

Northumberland will represent the northern counties against the three other regional winners at Remedy Oak Golf Club, September 24-26.