MAGDALENE Fields champion Darren Meakin has had a bumpy ride to tomorrow’s big event at Slaley.
He lost one ball in each round as he shot 68 73 and sunk an eight-foot putt at the last to beat Sean Jackson by one shot.
In the first round he scored ten birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey at the fourth where he lost his ball.
Second time round it was five birdies, three bogeys and the lost ball costing him a triple bogey seven at the ninth. Meakin, 26, lives in Berwick, where he is the manager of Jewson, the builders’ merchant, and plays league pool for The Blenheim Hotel. Ten years ago, he won the North Northumberland League junior open day at Bamburgh Castle. At Wallsend, Gary Longstaff produced a big finish to his rounds of 75 and 70, with his putter working particularly well.
A 42-year-old business analyst in the IT department for Northumbria Police at Ponteland, he triumphed by three shots thanks to a back nine of 32 for which he only needed 11 putts.
Birdies at 15, 16 and 17 burned off three players, who tied for second place with a 25-footer at the par three 16th his longest putt of the day. Still with the boys in blue, policeman Richie Eccleston triumphed in Newcastle United’s four-round marathon, shooting scores of 77, 79, 73 and 75. Such big winning scores on the par-72 track reflected windy conditions, with solid putting also doing the trick for Eccleston.
The 36-year-old from Gosforth is playing in his second Champions, having won the title at his former club, Close House in 1992.