It's Three Of A Kind!

THE second annual Northumberland Three-Day Event has again proved an enormous success.

THE second annual Northumberland Three-Day Event has again proved an enormous success. The competition was run as a 4BBB event and featured 82 competitors from all around the country.

Sadly, conditions at the Bellingham course were too wet for play and so an alternative venue had to be found at the last minute.

With most of the county's courses also closed because of bad weather, the organisers - Anne and Frank Brown from Rothbury Golf Club - were thankful when Dunstanburgh Castle Golf Club came to the rescue and joined Alnwick and Rothbury for the three rounds.

As well as the golf, the event also featured a Northumbrian Evening with Northumbrian food, humour, songs and music at Rothbury Golf Club - and the event proved successful in spite of very difficult circumstances.

The winners were Phil and Kevin Ginger from Alnwick Golf Club, who have handicaps of 14 and 23 respectively. Their aggregate score for the tournament was 120 points.

Two other competitors, John and Brenda Gibson of Aspatria in Cumbria, were delighted with the way the event went, despite the problems with the weather.

They said: "The courses provide a different challenge each day, which provided for three days of excellent golf. Each club was very welcoming and provided an excellent range of refreshments for all tastes."

There were competitions for mixed couple and male or female pairs, longest drive for male and female and nearest the pin, again for male and female, with each club providing prizes for the day.

Even the weather could not spoil the event as it took its toll on Bellingham this year but from the gloom Anne and Frank rose to the challenge and switched us to Dunstanburgh Castle golf course.

"We thoroughly recommend you the Northumberland Golf Three Day Event."

Euro Tour Set For The Off

THE UBS Hong Kong Open has become even more high profile with the unveiling of the European Tour's new International Schedule. The Fanling showpiece will feature twice in the extended 2009 programme, which begins early this month and concludes almost 13 months later.

And that means next year's UBS Hong Kong Open will be the final event prior to the money-spinning inaugural Dubai World Championship, in which only the top 60 players on the money list will take part.

The scene will be set for a battle royal at Fanling next year as players scramble to qualify for the Dubai event, which will carry prize money of US$10 million and a bonus pool of another US$10 million.

"With a rich history and tradition stretching back 50 years, the UBS Hong Kong Open has developed into a hugely popular and prestigious destination on the European Tour International Schedule," said European Tour chief executive George O'Grady.

"Now even greater significance will be attached to the UBS Hong Kong Open in the coming months. Not only is this month's 50th anniversary tournament at Fanling the second counting event towards the Race to Dubai - formerly the European Tour Order of Merit - but the 51st edition next November will be the final event prior to the world's richest tournament, the inaugural Dubai World Championship.

"Without question, this will create an enormous sense of drama and excitement as the leading players in the Race to Dubai battle for one of the top 60 places which will secure admission to the season-ending climax and the opportunity to win the US$10 million bonus pool."

The UBS Hong Kong Open - first staged in 1959 - is the oldest professional sports event in Hong Kong and is considered the "jewel in the crown" of Asian golf with a heritage that no other tournament in the region can match.

The 2008 tournament will be held at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling from November 20-23.

The 2009 UBS Hong Kong Open will take place from November 12-15 - one week before the Dubai World Championship.

From 2010, the European Tour will revert to a calendar-year programme starting with the South African Open in January and concluding with the Dubai World Championship in November.

The Dubai World Championship, to be staged at Jumeirah Golf Estates, will carry a first prize of US$1.6 million within its US$10 million prize fund.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer