Teacher’s perfect lesson

Durham teacher John Kirkpatrick handed out a lesson in how to play in the wind when he won the English Senior Men’s County Champion of Champions tournament at Woodhall Spa.

The Ramside Hall member was round in four under-par in his second round of 69, posting a total of 143 to claim the title by five shots at his first attempt.

It was an impressive debut for John, who only recently joined the senior ranks, and adds to a winning career which spans four decades.

He won the Cumbria county championship as an 18 year-old, followed up with the RAF championship in 1986 and then won the Durham County Championship five years ago before adding the Durham County Seniors Championship this year.

“I missed my son’s engagement party to play so I was under a bit of pressure!” said John.

John opened his challenge with a one over-par 74 on the Hotchkin course and trailed Bedfordshire’s Philip Sutton (Dunstable Downs) by three shots.

In a stiff wind, the pair went out together in the final group in the second round and John caught his rival after three holes, going on to hold a two shot lead by the turn.

He played the front nine in three under-par and, despite heading into the wind on the way in, he was one under-par on the homeward half.

“I didn’t have a three-putt in 36 holes and the greens were rapid, so I was pleased with that. I also didn’t have a double-bogey,” said John, who plays off a handicap of plus-two.

John teaches PE at the Durham Sixth Form Centre, which boasts a golf academy. “We’ve got some very good young golfers, especially girls. We’ve sent several to US universities in the last couple of years,” he added.

Alan Trimby (Seahouses) finished in a tie for 20th as Garforth’s Andrew King was eighth.