THE 8th annual Spanish mixed open trophy competition week organised by Northumbria Golf Breaks has been staged at El Rompido on the Costa De La Luz. The five rounds were played on both the South and North courses, which were in excellent condition, with some 27 couples - mainly from the North East - taking part in the week-long event.
A variety of golf formats were used, including a men's better ball and a ladies' better ball, but the Texas scramble proved to be a favourite for most people and was great fun.
There were two team events and the last day was the Mixed Spanish Open Trophy stableford better ball.
The trophy was eventually won by Peter Sanderson and Alison Lambert from Bamburgh with a very creditable 42 points.
Second place with 40 points - decided on count back - was Geoff and Candy Brown from Parklands, who just pipped Richard Johnson and Pat Boyack from Teesside with Ian and Angela Clough from Seahouses in fourth place with 39 points.
The winner of the overall week's trophies for the five rounds were, for the men, Geoff Brown, with Peter Sanderson in second place, and, for the ladies, Candy Brown with Angela Clough a very close second.
A fund raiser was staged for the North East Air Ambulance cause with everyone who lost a ball having to pay 50p, though many people generously contributed more than they needed to and £200 was raised for the fund.
Near Miss For Bedale Ladies
IT WAS a case of "so near, yet so far" for a group of North East lady golfers when they came up against one of the big names in the sport - Sunningdale - in the quarter-final of the Mail on Sunday competition. This was the second year in succession that Bedale Golf Club had reached the last eight of a competition that had attracted 2,500 entries.
The girls from North Yorkshire had already won eight rounds to reach the quarter-final stage, which was played at the Marriott Worsley Golf and Country Club in Manchester.
Bedale lost 3-2 despite outstanding performances from Gillian Petrie and team captain Julia Doughty.
Gillian, a four handicapper, beat the former Curtis Cup player Carol Caldwell, a one-handicapper, by the huge margin of 8&7.
Gillian said: "I birdied three of the first four holes and overall it's the best I've played for a couple of years."
Not to be outdone, five-handicapper Julia Doughty also found some sensational form to win her match against Ellis Kepton, who plays off scratch.
Jullia dded: "On the first tee it was announced that Ellis had been playing the day before for Europe against the USA!"
It could have ben a daunting moment, but unfazed by the celebrity of her opponent, Julia went on to win the match 3&2 and earn Bedale another valuable point.
However, it was not be enough and the North Yorkshire girls lost out by just a single match to their illustrious opponents from one of the country's most prestigious and famous golfing venues.
The Sunningdale team also included the wife of former formula One racing driver Eddie Jordan. "It's a pity we couldn't find any illegal 'ground force' on her clubs," joked Bedale president Dave Robinson after she prevailed over Sue Mayman.
Pauline Morris and Sue Lumb made up the Bedale quintet, which has only a short time to reflect on how much they achieved in the competition as it begins all over again in February 2009.