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ONE of the North's longest-running scratch opens celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

ONE of the North's longest-running scratch opens celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. And the Westerhope club aim to make the tournament on August 25 a bit special by persuading as many past winners as possible to enter. England international Roger Roper, who has won it seven times, has said he will be making the trip to Newcastle for the 36-hole event and the names on the George Howorth Trophy read like a who's who of Northern golf - David Curry, Tony McLure, Shaun Philipson, Steve Bolton, Sandy Twynholm, Brian Collingwood to mention just a few - as well as current young guns Phil Waugh and Sean Heads, who set a course record in winning last year.

The tournament also used to be one of the big events in the Northern Amateur Masters Championship along with Brancepeth, Consett, Seaton Carew, Cleveland, Bishop Auckland and Newbiggin and it's probably about time that championship was resurrected.

However, this year's Westerhope Open does count in the Northumberland County Bridgestone Golf order of merit and that should guarantee and entry from most of the current county squad, but Westerhope are asking all former winners to try and make it on August 25 and to give them a call on 0191 286 7636 as soon as possible.

THE Northumberland Seniors County team got the season off to a great start with a comprehensive 12.5-5.5 win over Cumbria at Brampton. With a stronger squad than in previous years, expectations are high that Northumberland will improve on 2007's fourth place in the Northern Counties League.

The next match is against Durham at Ryton on June 23 when Northumberland will be looking to overturn last year's 10-8 loss to the side that eventually ended up joint top with Cheshire.

Former pro Ken Saint, a talented left-hander, is new to the squad, which contains Richard Farrelly, Dennis Martin and Alan Ross.

This year, for the first time, the Northumberland Seniors County Championships - at Prudhoe on June 11 and 12 - will be played over 36 holes and be used as a basis for selecting the Big Six team to play in the Northern Counties Championships at Fairhaven on July 8-9.

Any senior aged 55 and over with a good single figure handicap is welcome to join the squad and, if interested, should contact the secretary, Tim Bull, on 0191 265 9353.

 

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