George Cowan won the Players Championship for the PGA region in the North East and Cumbria following a sudden-death play-off – a proud moment for him and his club, Westerhope.
Seven years ago there were similar feelings among the members of Bellingham, Cowan’s home club, when he captured the Northumberland Amateur Championship.
Now 32, Cowan turned pro shortly after winning the county title as assistant to Spike Nesbit at Westerhope.
Cowan long ago completed his PGA training to become a full professional at Westerhope and, at 24th in the Europro Tour Order of Merit, ranks as the No 1 North East and Cumbria club professional.
He said: “I was delighted to get over the line. The standard is very high in our region and this title means something.”
At a Stocksfield course in excellent condition, Cowan signed for 71 70 to tie on one over with Close House’s Andy Scrimshaw.
Cowan started and finished his morning round with three putts, but was level par for the tournament after nine holes in the afternoon.
He feared he had blown his chance with a double bogey at 10, but birdied the par three 18th to join Scrimshaw in a play-off.
The first and what turned out to be the last hole of sudden death was played over hole No 1, a short par four.
Both players took an iron off the tee, Scrimshaw running the ball through the fairway.
Playing downwind, this made it difficult for him to put a stop on the ball with his second shot, which left him 40 feet past the hole.
Cowan was 98 yards from the flag after his tee shot and played a lob wedge to six feet – sinking the birdie putt after Scrimshaw made his par with two putts.
141 FG Cowan (Westerhope) 71 70, A Scrimshaw (Close House ) 70 71
142 J Levey (Matfen Hall) 72 70, S Robinson (Sharperly) 74 68, J Graham (Silloth) 67 75, D. Clark (Morpeth) 72 70, C McDonnell (Royal club, Bahrain) 74 68