LAST minute replacement Daniel Keogh from Tyneside Golf Club won the Golf North East Gents Amateur Classic tournament to earn himself a sunshine golfing trip to Portugal. The 2008 golfing season has been a washout with many of the qualifying competitions having to be re-scheduled, but many North East clubs stuck to their tasks and from thousands of golfers taking part, a full field of 96 players were finally assembled for the Amateur Classic.
The final was due to be played on at Slaley Hall on Sunday, September 7 - the weekend the Heavens opened to force a last minute postponement of the event, which proved something of a logistical nightmare! Having re-scheduled the tournament to Wednesday, October 8, a number of competitors were unable to play due to work commitments. Tyneside's qualifier John Koranteng couldn't make it on the day leaving the door open for another club member to play.
And so Daniel agreed to represent his club and following a superb round of 76 nett 75, he was rewarded with a well-deserved holiday - to play in our 2008 Match Play Pairs Champions week on the sunny Algarve - along with our Crystal Claret Jug Trophy, which will be retained by Tyneside Golf Club for the next 12 months. Played on the Hunting Championship Course, the venue for this year's De Vere Collection PGA Seniors Tournament, all the competitors found it tough going and from the onset, any score in the 70s looked likely to be on the leader board.
As for Daniel's round, he bogeyed the first two holes and then steadied the ship with par, birdie and par before dropping another shot at the difficult sixth. He carded another excellent birdie at the seventh, made par at the eighth and like most players, dropped a shot at the ninth to be out in 38. His back nine started with a bogey followed by two pars and then he dropped another shot at the thirteenth.
A good seven iron tee shot at the next to eight foot resulted in a birdie two and with solid pars through the next three holes he finished off with a dropped shot at the last to score an inward half of 38 and a two-shot victory. Mark Smith, a five handicapper from Linden Hall finished with a nett 77 to take second place and in third, Andy Crapper playing off four scored a nett 78. Daniel later told Golf North East: "I enjoyed the day and had a really good time. I thought the course was pretty good considering the weather we have had but it was a shame the greens had been hollow tined. The organisation was good and in general, the whole day was a great experience."
Now 21 years of age, Daniel is the youngest player to win this event. He started playing golf eight years ago at Newcastle United and Ryton golf clubs before joining Tyneside in 2004.
He currently works in the pro shop at Prudhoe Golf Club alongside PGA professional John Crawford and is undecided about his future prospects in the sport.
Golf North East Gents Amateur Classic 2008
Results (Top 12 of 84 competitors) Name Club Nett Score
1. Daniel Keogh (1) Tyneside 75
2. Mark Smith (5) Linden Hall 77
3. Andy Crapper (4) Cleveland 78
4. Stephen Slater (3) City of Newcastle 79
5. Trevor Jackson (6) Haltwhistl 79
6. Paul Smith (8) Chester-le-Street 79
7. Neville Holden (6) Alnmouth Village 80
8. Martin Fuller (5) Bedale 81
9. Jonathan Thompson (4) Wynyard 81
10. Alan Johnson (15) Stressholme 81
11. Tim Perkins (10) Eaglescliffe 81
12. Paul Alderson (9) Ponteland 81 CSS - 76
On Course Prizes:- Longest Drive (12th) - Brett McAllister (Heworth) Nearest the Pin (6th) - Paul Smith (Chester le Street) Nearest the Pin (14th) - Stewart McCredie (Goswick) Guest Competition:- 1.Christine Skjelhaug (Saltburn-by-the-Sea) - 31 Points 2. Paul Clark (Matfen Hall) - 29 Points 3. Mike Murtha (Saltburn-by-the-Sea) - 28 Points 4. Douglas Ellison (Slaley Hall GC) - 26Points Acknowledgements: De Vere at Slaley Hall, Magdalene Fields Golf Club, Saltburn-by-the Sea Golf Club, Longhirst Hall Golf Club, George Washington Golf & Country Club, Birtley Golf Club, Prudhoe Golf Club, Hartlepool Golf Club, Romanby Golf & Country Club, Northumbria Water.