Record-breaking win for Charlotte Naughton

Charlotte Naughton followed in the footsteps of some of the region’s best female golfers by becoming the youngest-ever Northumberland county champion at Blyth Golf Club.

Ponteland-based Charlotte, who turned 14 in March, broke the record held by Rosie Belsham with victory over 2022 Northumberland Veteran Ladies champion Claire Brown at the fourth extra hole of the final.

“I’m really proud to be the youngest-ever winner of the county championship and I’m really happy all my hard work has paid off with a win,” said Charlotte.

“I was quite nervous going into the final, but I’d played well to get there and knew I could win if I played well again.

“Claire played great in the final and barely made a mistake. She got back from 2down to make it into the playoff and I had to play so well over all 22 holes to win.

“The birdie to win at the fourth extra hole was really special and this win is going to give me a lot of confidence ahead of more tournaments this summer.

“Being part of the regional coaching with JJ [Vallely] at Matfen Hall has been so important to improving and getting ready to compete in tournaments. It’s also given me the chance to spend time with players like Rosie [Belsham], Jess [Baker] and Maggie [Whitehead] and knowing they’ve gone through the same steps I’m doing right now is inspiring and shows what’s possible in the future.”

In the semi-finals, Claire beat Hexham’s June Lomax – who was the leading qualifier from the 36-hole strokeplay – while Charlotte beat her sister Zara – who was the leading junior qualifier over the first two days.