Playing with well-known golfing pro Simon Edwards, the first prize went to August Golf Monthly Junior of the Month, Nicola Haines, 13 of Gosforth, Newcastle; Jack Haswell, 14 of Billingham and Callum Hoggart, 15 of Bishop Auckland. The proud champs walked away with the prize trophy as well as PGA vouchers to stock up on everything a budding Tiger Woods would need to practice their skill.

Coming a close second, pro Kenneth Ferrie’s team consisted of Joseph Wilson of Heworth, Lewis Cochrane of Linden Hall and Liam Ruffell of Arcot Hall. Third place went to Andrew Turner’s team namely Alice Jones of Billingham, Sam Henderson of Ryton and Jonathan Conley of Seaton Carew.

Individual awards for Nearest to Pin and Longest Drive went to Nick Purvis of Whickham and James Simpson of Whickham respectively. All winners received PGA vouchers sponsored by Northern Rock. Scooping the individual professional award for the day was Matfen’s very own Director of Coaching, John Harrison.

Simon Edwards, who led the winning team said: “There was certainly stiff competition out there on the course this weekend. With over 30 teams of incredibly talented young golfers competing for the cup, my team certainly worked their socks off to reach first place. I’m so proud of them and everyone who took part – it’s evident we had some real potential out there today and I’m looking forward to competing against some of them again in the not too distant future in the professional ranks”

Northern Rock’s Director of Advertising, Brand & Sponsorship, Dave Henderson, said: “It’s been another great event and the opportunity for some of the children to play in what is a professional tournament with the North’s best professionals is something I’m sure they will never forget. Once again, it’s also been a great day for all of the family – with something here for everyone and all abilities. – The main purpose of today is to give those who haven’t tried golf the opportunity to do so and to encourage those who have onto another level. The silly golf club rules and silly dress codes which give golf a bad name is one of my pet hates. Matfen and the Professional’s have shown today how it should be done – with a smile and loads of fun, which in turn encourages kids to give the game a try. Lets face it, there are more golf facilities than players and if golf is going to grow, those in charge need to focus more on customer enjoyment.”

PGA North Region Secretary Graham Maly added: “The Junior Festival and pro-am is an established part of the event and has become hugely successful over the years. Our professionals look forward to the pro-am as much as the tournament because they are helping to encourage the players of the future.”

Alongside the Pro Am tournament, over 250 youngsters aged between 5 – 16 received free golf lessons with PGA professional golfers, whilst the Golf Foundation provided Tri Golf sessions for over 40 under 5’s throughout the day – meaning this year’s Northern Rock Junior Golf Festival saw over 380 youngsters taking part. The Pro Am tournament, which is now in its 7th year, forms part of Northern Rock’s golf festival ‘The Rock’ – culminating with a three-day professional tournament at Matfen Hall for the Northern Rock Trophy.

John Wood, Regional Development Officer for The Golf Foundation said: “We had a great turnout for the Tri-Golf sessions this year – with children as young as three taking part while their older brothers and sisters were putting away in the clinics. Having such fantastic weather meant it was a great day out for the whole family – even the parents were joining in the Tri Golf warm ups and chipping challenges.”

For further information about Northern Rock’s sports and community relations programme, visit www.northernrock.co.uk.