Three of a kind

Andrew Minnikin defied the storms at Whitley Bay Golf Club to lift his third Northumberland County Strokeplay Championship.

The 37-year-old won the Presidents Bowl in 2003 and 2015 – the latter as part of a clean sweep of the county’s strokeplay events in the season – though he still has a long way to go to catch Scottish international Sandy Twynholm’s record of seven victories.

“I’m chasing down Sandy’s record. I still have a few years left in me to have a go at it,” said Minnikin, who has set his sights on the English Mid-Amateur title later this year.

Minnikin finished ninth in the British Mid-Amateur at Woodhall Spa earlier this season and finished second in the English Mid-Amateur (Logan Trophy) in 2015 behind Durham’s Richard Aisbitt.

“I’d like to get my hands on the Logan Trophy, particularly as Northumberland legend George put up the trophy.”

With rounds of 72, 74, 70 and 75 for a total of 291 at Whitley Bay, Minnikin led Stocksfield’s Dan Shevill by two shots,while Newbiggin’s Craig Penny finished third with a total of 296.

“Conditions were pretty brutal,” added Minnikin. “It was just a case of trying to grind out a score. I knew if I could go through the whole championship and keep a double bogey off my card then that would be a big plus.

“I holed a 12ft putt in the third round for bogey to keep it going and managed to play the 72 holes without a double bogey in the end.

“The conditions were so tough and I’m really happy I kept it going over both days and finished it off down the stretch in the final round,” added Minnikin.