Junior golfers in race for showcase

Northumberland County Golf Partnership

Young golfers in Northumberland are up and running in the race to appear at one of the county’s top venues.

The March2Matfen competition will run throughout the region and will see golfers under the age of 18 competing in a series of nine events for a place in the grand final at Maften Hall on Sunday, September 15.

The March2Matfen features an Order of Merit with the top-12 boys and top-eight girls going forward to play for prizes provided by the Northumberland County Golf Partnership.

The opening qualifying event was held at Seahouses Golf Club as part of the NJGA Spring Meeting, with Rosie Belsham the leading girl points scorer and Jonathan Douglas and William Heron sharing the boys’ top points.

But with eight more events in which to score Order of Merit points, entries are still open.

Jason Budd, England Golf’s regional development officer, says: “The first March2Matfen proved very popular with all those taking part and this year’s competition sees an increase in the number of events in the Order Of Merit.

“It is great to see the clubs supporting a junior Order of Merit which will give an opportunity for more competitive golf for junior players in Northumberland and will also help to promote the events that clubs are hosting and increase participation numbers.

“This is an exciting opportunity for juniors with a handicap to take part in more Junior Opens, which will help increase their experience on a variety of different courses, and means that even the higher handicap players will be in with a chance of winning one of the top prizes.”

The remaining events are:

l July 13 – Allendale Junior Open. Further details from 01434 683438;

l August 5 – Matfen Hall Junior Open. Further details from 01661 886400;

l August 11 – Alnmouth (Foxton) Junior Open. Further details from 01665 830231;

l August 15 – Tynemouth Junior Open. Further details from 0191 258 0728;

l August 21 – NJGA Summer Meeting at Newcastle United. Further details on 0191 268 4140;

l August 22 – Morpeth Junior Open. Further details from 01670 504942;

l August 23 – Ponteland Junior Open. Further details from 01661 822689;

l August 27 – Hexham Junior Open. Further details from 01434 603072.

Qualifying players must have been aged 18 years and under on January 1, 2013, and should be members of an affiliated club in Northumberland with a CONGU handicap. Maximum handicaps are 28 for boys and 36 for girls.

The March2Matfen uses Junior Opens at selected GolfMark awarded clubs in Northumberland as qualifiers.

Registered players can win points towards an Order of Merit hosted by the Northumberland County Golf Partnership. To enter the March2Matfen, players need to download the entry and photo consent forms from www.northumberlandcgp.co.uk