Stefan’s king of Castle

Stefan Labuschagne held off a double-pronged home attack to win the North Yorkshire and South Durham Championship at Middlesbrough Golf Club.

Pretoria-born Labuschagne, who holds a British passport, has recently played his way into the Durham squad – although he had to wait a year to qualify to play for the county.

A student at Durham University, he is a graduate of Tyler College and Concord University in the US, is a former West Virginia IAC Golfer of the Year and has played on the China Tour.

A member of Bishop Auckland Golf Club, Labuschagne has been close to winning a number of times in the North East but he hit top form to take the NYSD title with rounds of 67 and 68.

He was chased all the way by Middlesbrough pair Elliott Butterworth (68-68) and James Swash (67-70).

Recent Northern Masters winner Tom Smith, who won the NYSD Championship for the third time in a row last year and also claimed the Bishop Auckland Bowl as his first scratch open triumph, missed out on an historic fourth title after an opening round of 73.