Justin plays dual role

Pegswood man Justin Auld, who is playing and sponsoring the PGA Euro Pro Tour event at Longhirst Hall Golf Club.
Pegswood man Justin Auld, who is playing and sponsoring the PGA Euro Pro Tour event at Longhirst Hall Golf Club.

A PEGSWOOD golfer has a little extra pressure on him going into a big tournament at Longhirst Hall next week.

For not only is Justin Auld taking part in the PGA Euro Pro Tour event, his Morpeth-based Rusty’s Travel business is the title sponsor.

The competition will be the first time a professional entrant has sponsored and played in an event on the tour.

Of the unique situation, Auld said: “When the opportunity arose to become involved, it was really too good an opportunity to miss.

“Being a local player and having a local business has meant that putting the two together for the same event has made it even more special for me and the local area.”

He played in the inaugural event last year but had to retire injured.

Auld added: “It was a disappointing end last year but I’m feeling good for this event, and have been up at Longhirst playing The Lakes course regularly.

“The course is coming along really well in preparation, I’m hoping it all bodes well for me this year.”

The Euro Pro Tour, with more than 500 members and a prize fund exceeding £1million, has grown in stature as well as in size year upon year.

Last year’s event was won by Stuart Archibald from Hampshire, who came in with a course record 65 on the final day and then won in a play-off with his friend Matt Allen. It was a thrilling five-hole play-off to finish what was a great week.

Graham Chambers, Director of Golf at Longhirst, said: “We are delighted to have been asked to host the event again this year, and hope it will become a regular in our club calendar.

“To have a player of the quality of Justin Auld to be playing and working with us this year makes it all the more exciting.”

As an extra local interest, Longhirst golfer Karl Hepple will be playing as an amateur.

The 18-year-old hopes to turn professional and so he will gain valuable experience in this year’s event.

The week of action starts with a practice day on Monday, then it’s the Pro-Am on Tuesday followed by the three-day tournament on Wednesday, Thursday, June 23 and Friday, June 24. Admission is free on all days.

For more information, telephone the club on 01670 791562.