David Clark dedicated his first win since becoming head PGA professional at Morpeth Golf Club to his friend and predecessor, the late Martin Jackson.
Clark battled through rain and wind to set a tournament record with a four-under 64 in the Hadrian Healthcare Pro-Am at boom club Whickham, finishing three shots clear of the field.
The 36-year-old, who represented the Rothbury club as a teenage amateur in winning The Journal Champion of Champions in 1996, took it harder than most when Jackson died a year ago. “I had my first golf lesson from Martin at the age of 10; he sold me my first set of clubs”, said Clark.
“I also did my PGA apprenticeship at Morpeth and worked for with him for eight years before becoming a freelance golf pro. He was my boss and my friend. Sometimes a golf pro and his assistant can work 10-hour days together – so you either get on with each other or you don’t.
“I enjoyed working with Martin, he was a typically straightforward Yorkshireman; he’d do anything for you.”
In 2012 Clark won eight events in a row on the PGA’s regional professional circuit for the North East and Cumbria. He took over at Morpeth on October 1 and the Whickham tournament brought his first triumph since late last season.
“My form was ropey but concentrating on keeping dry seemed to clear my head of technical worries,” he said. “My only thought was to hit the ball with the middle of the club.”