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North East golf: Hard work pays off for Hall – with ex-Middlesbrough defender playing key role

In-form teenager Jessica Hall just can’t stop winning!

Less than a fortnight after her “biggest win ever” at the Critchley Salver at Sunningdale Golf Club, the 18-year-old was at it again – this time coming out on top at the Northern of England Schools’ Championship.

Hall’s 148 two-round total at Whickham Golf Club saw her retain the title she won last year.

In doing so, she smashed the course record by eight shots with a 72 on the morning – only to see one of her rivals go one better on the afternoon.

But Hall was the big winner on the day, and now goes to the national championships later this month confident of bettering her third place finish from last year.

It’s turning into quite the year for the Bishop Auckland Golf Club member. As well as notching those impressive victories, she’s also represented England twice.

And Hall is absolutely clear as to the main reason behind her fine form.

“I did a lot of hard work throughout the winter months and it’s all paying off now,” she says.

“I worked hard in the gym and made swing changes and I’ve put 30 yards on my game. I’m really pleased with the way things are going so far this year.”

Jessica Hall celebrated victory at the Critchley Salver in May

One figure who has made a difference behind the scenes is former Middlesbrough and Hartlepool United footballer Stuart Parnaby.

After retiring from the game, Parnaby joined the coaching staff at Hartlepool United as pre/rehabilitation and conditioning coach.

And in recent months he’s been working closely with Hall in the gym, with the +1 handicapper benefiting from his expert knowledge and understanding.

Hall is now looking to add another title when she heads for Bristol for the national championships.

“I finished third there last year but that was my first year at the nationals,” she said.

“I’ve got more experience this time around and I’m playing better golf.”

After finishing her A-levels at Durham Sixth Form Centre, Hall is now taking a gap year but plans to head out to the USA on a golf scholarship.

The gifted teenager has already been in contact with some top universities and is heading over the pond for visits to New Mexico and California later this year.

Ferrie in record breaking form

Former European Tour pro Kenneth Ferrie was in record breaking form as he won the Hadrian Healthcare Pro Am.

Playing the new layout on the Hollinside Park course at Whickham Golf Club, Ferrie scorched to a 64 to win by three shots from fellow Matfen Hall member John Harrison and Morpeth Golf Club’s David Clark.

Five other players went under 70 on the day, with Tom Flowers of the North East/North West PGA – organisers of the event – saying the new layout and condition of the course was praised by those in action on the day.

Kenneth Ferrie broke a course record on his way to victory at the Hadrian Healthcare Pro Am at Whickham Golf Club – PICTURE BY KEN GREATBATCH

Meanwhile, Ryan Ingram of George Washington Golf & Country Club enjoyed his first win as a professional as he came out on top at the Ramside Hall Pro Am.

Ingram’s three-under par score of 69 saw him finish two shots clear of Crook’s Darren Crowle, Ramside Hall’s Kevin Jackson and Jonathan Graham in the chasing pack.

The NE/NW PGA’s next Pro Am takes place tomorrow at Middlesbrough Golf Club, with 30 North East professionals set to take part, before Billingham hosts an event to mark its 50th anniversary on Monday.

Storm on song again

Hartlepool’s Graeme Storm climbed one place in the Race to Dubai standings with yet another fine showing last weekend.

The in-form Rockliffe Hall pro shot 68, 69, 75, 71 to finish in a tie for 15th, seven shots off the lead, at the Lyoness Open in Austria.

It ensured Storm climbed up to 25th on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai leaderboard, having played in 14 tournaments so far this year.

The dream is still alive

Two North-East golfers are one step closer to playing with a European Tour star after reaching the national final of Bridgestone’s Chase your Dream Trophy.

Richard Kippin of Boldon Golf Club and and Martin Janes from Dinsdale Spa came through the North regional qualifier at Preston Golf Club.

They’ll now head for the national final where the top nine players will go forward to the Bridgestone Challenge Pro Am – the English leg of the Challenge Tour which will take place in Luton in September.

They’ll be joined by the top nine players from the women’s championship to make up six teams – and the winning team will qualify for the British Masters Pro Am to be held at Northumberland’s Close House, where they’ll be joined by a European Tour pro.

Ridley on top

Bishop Auckland’s Stephen Ridley came out on top at Teesside Union’s Jack Ord Trophy at Wynyard.

Ridley’s two-under gross score of 70 ensured victory at the mid-amateur competition for those aged 35 and over.

Entries are open

Entries are open for this year’s North of England Amateur Youth Championships, to take place at Middlesbrough Golf Club in August.

Players must have been aged under 23 on January 1 this year with a handicap entry limit of four.

To enter visit www.middlesbroughgolfclub.co.uk.

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