Middlesbrough Football Club and Rockcliffe Hall owner Steve Gibson has signed golfer Graeme Storm in a bid to attract the Ryder Cup to the north-east.

The Hartlepool golfer has moved from Wynyard to Rockcliffe Hall in a 12-month affiliation deal and is ready to back the campaign to bring the Ryder Cup to the multi-million pound resort at Hurworth near Darlington.

Rockcliffe can host the Ryder Cup, I’ve no doubts about that,” said Storm. “I’m sure we will see a European Challenge Tour or European Tour event here when the course is ready, but it’s good enough for the big one – the Ryder Cup.

“I’ve played Gleneagles and Celtic Manor, who are to host the Cup, and I think Rockcliffe is better. “They do mean business here, which is one of the reasons why I have come here.

“They’ll tinker with the course, they’ll have to, as you do with all courses, but it is more than capable of being a Ryder Cup venue and when they do bid for it, as I’m sure they will, I’m hoping I will be involved in the campaign to bring the big one to the north-east.”

The 32-year-old hopes to get his season on track in next week’s Hassan Trophy in Morocco after recovering from a shoulder problem which affected him last season.

“The target this year has to be another win to go with my 2007 French Open. “The Ryder Cup isn’t a specific target. If it comes along, it comes along. I’m not making it a specific target – if I win three times I’ll be in it but you can’t base your season on it.”

Besides Rockcliffe, Storm has signed new sponsorship deals with fashion specialist Tony Q’aja and Farmfoods while GAC, 2BM, TaylorMade and adidas have all stayed on board. 

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