Centenary celebrations for Tynemouth

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The Northumberland Junior Golf Association held its 2013 Under 21 Matchplay Championship at Tynemouth Golf Course in their centenary year.

Some great golf was played over the five days in some very testing cold and windy conditions. Tynemouth Golf Course members themselves were hoping for a double success having representatives in both the boys and girls sections in their centenary year.

The qualifiers were held on Sunday, April 28 and the members weren’t disappointed when Tynemouth’s Conor Turnbull went through as number one qualifier.

The knockout matchplay stages started the following evening and supporters were treated to some super golf, it was a hard fought victory for Conor Turnbull against the promising James Elliott, Will Heron beat Cameron Ferguson, Ryan Chambers beat Adam Nicholson, Jamies McFarlane beat the promising Jacob Swallow on the 18th, Ben McKenzie beat Ben Smith, Marcus Mellor saw off Dean Fowler and in another hard fought contest Brad Robinson came out top against Jack Maddison whilst Close House’s Craig Smith was victorious against Cameron Bowman.

There was some exciting contests set up for round two on Tuesday, Turnbull beating Heron, Chambers beating McFarlane, McKenzie beating Mellor and Smith securing victory on the 18th against Robinson. This set up some interesting semi finals for the following evening.

Close House’s Smith played some great golf having to account for a one shot penalty late in the match but secured victory to the final on the 18th whilst Turnbull could have secured victory earlier against Chambers but some bad decisions and good gritty Chambers play had Turnbull sweating to the 20th hole where Chambers missed the putt to send Tynemouth’s Turnbull into Friday night’s final.

The Tynemouth supporters wentt home happy as in the girls semi final Tynemouth’s Kelly McNulty cruised through to the final with victory against Niamh Lendrum along with a comfortable victory for Parkland’s Sam Taylor against another Tynemouth girl in Rebecca Ferguson.

This set up two cracking finals in which the Tynemouth Golf Club was represented in both and supporters came out hoping for a double victory with both Turnbull and McNulty having being nurtured through their early years by Tynemouth professional John McKenna at the McKenna School of Golf.

The finals were played in blustery conditions but it was the girls that set the pace where Kelly McNulty and Sam Taylor both started with birdies to show the followers what sort of contest this was going to be. However in the boys final Conor Turnbull was soon two down against Craig Smith.

In the girls final McNulty had a chance to go one up on the third but missed the putt in the windy conditions however, she sank a great putt on the next to keep the game all square. Double bogies on the 6th and 7th for Taylor and two solid pars meant McNulty was two up coming down the 8th.

As more and more Tynemouth supporters started to follow the exciting girls match news filtered through that their other hope Turnbull was four down and although playing some good shots was struggling to get into any rhythm against Smith. Smith was playing some good solid golf like he had all week and looked determined not to let the lead slip even when Turnbull pulled a hole back Smith was soon back on top.

In the girls, McNulty and Taylor were playing some great golf in the windy conditions and the score was still the same two up to McNulty at the turn with some super shots and great putts saving par for them both on the 8th and 9th. Taylor’s putt got one back on the 10th and when McNulty found trouble off the tee on the 11th it was back to all square.

However there was no such trouble off the tee on the next and a monstrous drive up the 12th resulted in a super putt for birdie and McNulty was back in the lead. However this was short lived and McNulty’s bunker shot resulted in Taylor levelling the game.

So all square heading into the wind up the 15th where Taylor missed an opportunity to go one up and when news came through that Tynemouth Conor Turnbull had been beaten 5-4 by Close House’s Craig Smith, Tynemouth supporters were looking to McNulty to comfort them as a double victory had gone for Tynemouth and a Junior County Matchplay Champion was in the balance and then took a turn for the worse when McNulty found the bunker on the 16th whilst Taylor was just off the fairway but a super bunker shot and chip and with Taylor over the back of the green again McNulty sank a good putt to go one up and when McNulty found the green on the par three 17th and Taylor deep in the face of the green side bunker it was all over bar the shouting and a 2-1 victory for McNulty meant celebrations could start for Tynemouth supporters.

News soon reached the clubhouse where celebrations got under way and got Tynemouth’s centenary year off to a great start.