A golfing couple are celebrating their successes on the course.
Tynemouth golf champion Rebecca Ferguson, 25, came third out of 16 men and women who tackled the world famous Ailsa course at Trump Turnberry in the Grand Final of the 2017 Titleist Order of Merit.
Rebecca – known as Bex – was also second in the Ladies competition, only beaten by a rival with a far higher handicap.
Bex qualified for the Grand Final by beating thousands of other top club golfers to top this year’s Titleist Order of Merit – a feat she had previously accomplished at the age of 21.
A week later, also at the Ramside Hall course in County Durham, her boyfriend Stewart Fell, 26, beat the field by three strokes and equal the course record to lift the men’s Champion of Champions trophy.
Paul Whittaker, Tynemouth Golf Club manager, said: “We couldn’t be more proud.
“To have one Champion of Champions is fantastic. To have both – who are a couple as well – is incredible.”
The pair met as teenagers at Tynemouth Golf Club and have become two of the best golfers in the club’s distinguished 100-year history.
Bex only started playing golf at Tynemouth at the age of 15 when injuries started affecting her potential as a promising 800 meters runner.
Stewart said: “I was given a set of plastic golf clubs by an auntie and started smacking the ball around the garden and apparently I was quite good at it.”
He began lessons at Tynemouth at the age of five and was a member when he was 11.
He added: “I love the place. It seems like I’ve been here all my life. I met Bex here and have made so many friends through the club. I’m so proud to be a member.”
Stewart is the lowest handicapper in the history of Tynemouth Golf Club and has been its champion golfer five times.
By becoming the Champion of Champions he qualifies to play on the prestigious PGA EuroPro tour.
But despite his achievements he has no ambition to go further in the sport, saying: “If I was playing for a living I wouldn’t enjoy it. I play to enjoy golf and, luckily, I’m OK at it.
“I’ve seen first-hand how hard Bex works on her game and it puts my lack of practise to shame. We’re completely different at golf.”
Bex said: “I’m so competitive.
“I come here every day and just practise, practise and practise. Even when it’s the winter and snowing, I’ll be working on my putting. I absolutely love it here. It’s like a second home.”
She is looking to pursue a career outside golf, but thinks – one day – she might become a teaching professional.