THE US hurricane season may be over for this year but another storm has hit Kansas - City of Newcastle's Nicky Maddison has made a sensational start at Hutchinson Community College, winning two out of the first three league tournaments. Playing in the Jayhawks Conference League, this talented teenager has just won back-to-back tournaments with a display of golf that can only be described as awesome.
The local press (Hutch News) has already dubbed him the 'British Invasion'. Nicky left our shores at the end of August to start his golf scholarship, having won the 2008 Northumberland Under-18 Stroke Play Championship, the Northumberland Junior Match Play Championship and the Fenwick Smith Trophy.
And following a wonderful performance at the 'Home of Golf', he won the St Andrews Boys' Open Championship. Understandably, 18-year old Nicky initially struggled to adapt to the climate and different grasses in the US, but with the help of his coach Chris Young he scraped into the college team for the opening fixture of the season.
Held at Dodge City, he finished in 6th place individually with his performance helping Hutchinson to an overall win in the team event. He was then selected to play in a non-league tournament held in Colorado where he finished 9th individually.
In his third tournament held at Quail Ridge Golf Club at Winfield, Kansas, Nicky tied for victory at two-under-par 142 with Anders Engell (Dodge City CC). Nicky had rounds of 74 and 68, his second round included six birdies and two bogeys, while Engel had a pair of 71s.
As a result of this win, he was awarded Kansas Golf Player of the week.
Nicky secured his latest victory at The Highlands Golf Club in Hutchinson. Played in two days of dreadful weather - torrential rain and wind on the first day, drier but windier on the second day - Nicky had rounds of one-under-par 71 followed by an 81 for a winning total of 152.
Given the terrible weather conditions, Nicky's first round was a great score and formed the basis for a three-stroke win from Miles Christensen (Johnson County) who had rounds of 79 and 76 for 155. As we go to print, Nicky is currently ranked individually No. 1 in the league and has a 5.5 point lead in the tables. His Mum Maureen said: "We couldn't have asked for anything better; it's a brilliant start and I'm really proud of him. To finish in the top ten in his first two tournaments was great news in itself, but to go on and win the next two back to back was absolutely fantastic - his coach at Hutchinson is really pleased with the way Nicky has settled in"
And hot off the press, even more good news for Maureen. playing in the fourth League Tournament at Hampton Cove Golf Club in Alabama, Nicky made it five out of five top ten finishes with rounds of 73, 72 and 72 for 6th place.
The signing of Nicky Maddison from Newcastle for the start of the 2008-09 American College Golf Season must be the best bit of "business" completed by the Hutchinson College talent scout for many a year.
Curry Too Hot In The Bowl
MICHAEL Curry, twice the Durham county champion, completed a consistent 2008 season by landing his first big win, capturing the Ravensworth Bowl by two shots from Newcastle United's former England international Simon Lee. Curry, a 26-year-old greenkeeper at the Brancepeth Castle club, finished in the top 32 of the English Amateur this season and the last 16 in 2007.
On a rain-free day at Ravensworth, with only a slight breeze getting up in the afternoon, Curry (pictured) returned two rounds of 67, six under par for the 36-hole scratch tournament.
Following a double-bogey start to the first round, he fired five birdies before lunch.
A bogey at the fourth in his afternoon round was followed by a run of five birdies in a row, starting at the fifth, and although Curry had two bogeys coming back, he finished on a high.
At the 250-yard par four 18th, a three-wood off the tee left him six feet from the flag. A downhill left-to-right line studded with footprints cost him an eagle, but he closed with a birdie.
WOMEN'S fashion was to the fore! at the first ladies golf fashion show to be held at George Washington Golf and Country Club. Hosting the event was Graeme Robinson and the Glenmuir agent Ken Saint.
Graeme said: "It was a great night. Nearly 40 ladies and a few men stayed back for the show and they really enjoyed seeing the latest trends in golfing fashion for both this winter and next spring/summer.
"There was a real buzz. The six models, led by the vice-captain's daughter Laura Black, had a great time doing four turns up and down the red carpet, showing off clothes from Ping Collection and Glenmuir, plus ladies waterproofs from Sunderland of Scotland.
"After the show all the ranges were available for the ladies to try on, order or buy on the night. Ken and I did our best but we were quite overwhelmed by the rush, it was like the Next sale.
"We are definitely going to make this a yearly event as the feedback has been excellent. Fingers crossed the weather will make 2009 a year to remember for all the right reasons."
¬|¬¬||||||| |01/11/2008|GOLF NORTH EAST|1|Golf North East|10||¬Simon's Future On A Knife Edge
TEES Valley golfer Simon Robinson is facing a nail-biting end to the season as he attempts to win a place on next year's full European Tour. The 27-year-old, who plays out of Wynyard Golf Club, has put together his best season so far in professional golf, predominantly on the European Challenge Tour, and is one event away from clinching a berth at the European Tour's qualifying event next month.
Robinson suffered a real setback in the Challenge Tour's penultimate tournament of the season in Italy, missing the cut, and slipped to 46th in the order of merit - he needs to finish in the top 45 to earn a place at qualifying school for Europe's top professional tour - a gruelling ten-round endurance test in Spain at the start of November.
Robinson, who won his maiden Challenge Tour title at the SK Golf Challenge at Laurence Golf Club in Lohja, Finland earlier in the summer, has peformed well of late and was 34th in the Toulouse Open in France.
But he now needs to find some good form at the final event of the Challenge Tour season, also in Italy, which was getting underway as this issue of Golf North East went to press.