Controversy over star of Whickham club event

The Journal Champion of Champions is becoming memorable for the Whickham club in terms of unexpected developments

The Journal Champion of Champions is becoming memorable for the Whickham club in terms of unexpected developments.

Last year they forgot to enter their club champion, James Simpson, but the situation was remedied happily after the draw was published.

Close House, where he is also a member, entered Simpson as their host club wild card.

The 2013 Whickham representative, Colin Teasdale, has been entered for the Champions after signing for 143 in the 36-hole club championship with rounds of 72 and 71.

This was not the lowest total compiled. Wayne Feeney, a former club champion, returned a score three shots better with par 68 followed by 72.

However, Feeney has only recently applied to rejoin Whickham and at the time of the tournament, he had not completed a 14-day period of temporary membership. Temporary members are unable to win club trophies and Feeney had been sent a letter by the club informing him of that and other conditions of temporary membership.

Feeney, who says he did not receive the letter, contacted The Journal to register his disappointment and ask for a wild card into the Champions, a request which was politely refused.

The Journal contacted Whickham to make them aware of the wild card situation. Whickham later decided to decline Feeney’s request to become a member, but said they were unable to discuss the reason.

When we went back to Feeney, he said he had been refused membership because he had raised the issue of the recent club championship with The Journal.

The Journal asked Whickham to clarify this and they issued a statement.

The part of the statement relevant to Feeney being refused membership read: “The management committee can consider whether a person is a suitable candidate for membership and will decide to accept or decline accordingly.

“The club are not at liberty to discuss individual cases or circumstances.”

It has not been all bad news for the 25-year-old Feeney.

During the club championship he landed a hole-in-one on the 165-yard, par-three 13th, which earned him a specially commissioned, commemorative BOSS watch.

In addition, Feeney was awarded membership of the exclusive BOSS Watches H1 Club.

:: Information about the Champions tournament is online at www.closehouse.co.uk , where you click on golf then The Journal Champion of Champions 2013. There are separate sections providing clubs and players with all they need to know about the event.

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