Clark heads Order of Merit after Longhirst win

One of the competitors taking part in the EuroPro Tour golf competition at Longhirst Hall.

One of the competitors taking part in the EuroPro Tour golf competition at Longhirst Hall.

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THERE was another tight finish to a big golf event at Longhirst Hall.

A play-off was once again needed to determine the winner of the Rusty’s Travel PGA EuroPro Tour contest on The Lakes course following the epic climax of the inaugural event last year, which took five extra holes.

This time, Graeme Clark (Doncaster) was able to edge out James Busby (The Shropshire) at the first play off hole after the pair had finished on -3.

The victory takes Clark to the top of the Order of Merit – he also finished second at Burhill in Surrey a few weeks earlier.

Scotland’s Lee Harper (Archerfield Links, East Lothian) looked to be joining Busby and Clark in the play-off but bogeyed the last to finish third.

Chris Hanson (Woodsome Hall, Huddersfield) and Trevor Jones (Whipsnade Park, Hertfordshire) also shared the lead at the start of the final day but both players finished in tied fourth after rounds of 73 (+3) saw them end on -1.

The event was a huge success for Longhirst Hall Golf Club as a lot of pre-event publicity saw an increase in the number of people coming along to watch the action.

Director of Golf Graham Chambers said: “Everything ran smoothly during the week and we were fortunate to have another fabulous contest for the title.

“Conditions were difficult but not as tricky as last year and this was reflected in the scoring.

“Most of the players when they finished their rounds praised the changes and improvements we made to the course and it has already been confirmed that the event will be held here again next year.

“Hopefully, it will take place during the school holidays so the junior section can get more involved.

“The competition is a big boost for the local economy as 300+ people have been here when you add the players, caddies, officials and television people together.

“They have stayed in Longhirst, Morpeth, Longhorsley and Alnwick among other places.

“Big thanks must go to Rusty’s Travel, which played a big part in getting the event financed.”