Up to scratch

County events and scratch opens across Northumberland, Durham and Teesside have been won by some of the region’s best amateur golfers.

Brancepeth Castle’s Richard Aisbitt was in fine form again – winning the Teesside Trophy and the Leonard Crawley Medal. 

At Teesside, he produced a superb second-round 66 to win the title in the event’s 53rd year. Having opened with a round of 78 in windy conditions, Richard posted a six under-par second round to lead the field in the Yorkshire Order of Merit event. In the Leonard Crawley at Brancepeth, his 134 total gave him a five-shot margin of victory over John Howarth and Michael Henson.

In the Northumberland County Golf Union’s Fenwick Smith Trophy, Slaley Hall’s Alex Buchanan outlasted the field at his home club. Alex shot a three over-par round of 75 to lead by one shot as Prudhoe’s Kevin Innes, Hexham’s Junior Dobson and Whitley Bay’s Dan Beeson finished in a tie for second.

In the Boldon Scratch Open, Kevin Suggett posted a sparkling second round of 69 to win by three shots. Chester-le-Street-based Kevin opened with a round of 72, which was matched by Paul Ward and James Glenn. In the second round, only South Shields’ Martin McCririck came close to catching him, but Kevin cruised to victory with a three under-par total as Martin claimed second place, and Paul and James finished in a tie for third.

Northumberland county titles have also been won by Arcot Hall’s John Wood – who won the Forster Cup (for players with handicaps of 11.5-28.4) at Prudhoe Golf Club with 41 stableford points – as Longhirst Hall’s Steven Smiles won this year’s County Salver (for players with handicaps of 4.4-12.4) with a three under-par nett score of 67.

In the Durham County Golf Union’s Second Division Championship at Billingham, Wearside’s Neil Harrison won the title with a round of 74. The five-handicapper finished four shots clear of Ian Campbell (Bishop Auckland), who collected the nett prize.