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Mark Penny Feeling Just Champion
23rd September 2010

Mark Penny at the first of his four victories in the the ZFL series. (Photo Richard Hannam)

Going into the final 'double header' weekend of the 2010 ZFL North East Masters, any one of the top four contenders could still secure the Masters title. 

Not only that, all of the top 10 were still in the hunt for 2nd to 5th places. And events 13 & 14 at Brancepeth & new to the series Woodham, provided plenty of excitement & changes of positions.
At Brancepeth, with defending Masters Champion Simon Lee lying 2nd in the series & 3rd placed Michael Curry absent, long time series leader, Mark Penny from Morpeth realistically only needed a top 15 finish to become champion.  But a 13 over par total of 153, after rounds of 78 & 75, was only good enough for 17th leaving City of Newcastle's Phil Ridden needing to win to keep the pressure on.

Mark Penny
Richard Aisbitt with Brancepeth's Leonard Crawley Medal (photo Richard Hannam)

Two steady scores of 73 & 72 were only good for 5th however & Penny was Masters Champion. Home player, Richard Aisbitt, followed his record breaking win at Bishop Auckland with another victory at Brancepeth. Rounds of 72 & 69, one over par, gave him a comfortable six shot margin over Bedale's Michael Henson with Durham's Graeme Marchbank two shots further back.

Aisbitt's back to back victories vaulted him seven places to 5th in the ZFL table, the same position he enjoyed in 2009. Meanwhile, Ridden, 3rd last year, had jumped from 4th to 2nd. At Woodham the next day, Brancepeth's Michael Curry came back with a bang. Rounds of 70 & 71 for a five under par 141 gave Curry a three shot victory over Bishop Auckland's J. Peart with Wynyard's Ben Tetlow another three shots adrift.

Michael Curry in action (Photo Richard Hannam)

Woodham's Director of Golf, Glen Lowery, was pleased to have got the event off the ground but was frustrated by over half the field failing to show up or withdrawing at the last minute.

Virtually every tournament has suffered from no shows & last minute withdrawals this year & Lowery voices an opinion shared by many. "This attitude doesn't help the amateur game prosper in the way I feel it should. Many of these players are considered ambassadors for their clubs & role models to younger players. If they were on the professional circuit, they would receive a large fine and a hefty ban. To those who did turn out & play, I am truly grateful & I am going to offer these players free entry for the 2011 event!"

Top contenders for the final four prize places including Lee, Ridden & Aisbitt were all absent. Having finished just out of the points at Brancepeth, that gave the ever consistent Nigel King from South Shields a golden opportunity to re-claim 5th spot in the series - the position he had lost at Brancepeth due to Aisbitt's win & Mark Penny's brother, Craig's, 6th position.

King took full advantage by finishing joint 6th at Woodham, pushing Penny & Aisbitt out of the ZFL prizes. His 5th place finish in the series was an improvement of two places over 2009.

Mark Penny in action (Photo Richard Hannam)

Final positions in the ZFL North East Masters were:

01 Mark Penny (Morpeth) 1190.8 points

02 Michael Curry (Brancepeth) 1033.7

03 Phil Ridden (City of Newcastle) 913.3

04 Simon Lee (City of Newcastle) 840.8

05 Nigel King (South Shields) 730.0

A special presentation night for all the prize winners & guests has been arranged at Penny's home club, Morpeth, on Saturday 20 November. ZFL's MD, Andrew Leach, commented, "This is our second year as series sponsor & it was exciting to see the final results go down to the wire. I would congratulate the prize winners & the hundreds of players from all over the North East & beyond who have taken part in 2010 & made the ZFL North East Masters so interesting. I would also like to thank the participating clubs for all their hard work in staging the events. We are already planning 2011 & considering some positive changes to the format."

Full information about the ZFL North East Masters can be found at www.zflgolf.co.uk including a link to entry details. - ends - Attached: 1. Photo - Richard Aisbitt with Brancepeth's Leonard Crawley Medal 2. Photo - Michael Curry in action 3. Brancepeth result 4. Woodham result including final top 20 ZFL North East Masters table

ZFL North East Masters 2010

Event 13 - Brancepeth Golf Club - Leonard Crawley Medal - 18 September 2010
1 Richard Aisbitt (Brancepeth) 72 69 = 136* 200 points

2 Michael Henson (Bedale) 71 71 = 142* 170

3 Graeme Marchbank ( Durham ) 71 73 = 144* 140

3 A Gibson (Arcot Hall) 69 75 = 144* 140

5 Phil Ridden (City of Newcastle ) 73 72 = 145* 120

6 John Howarth (Brancepeth) 76 71 = 147* 100

6 David Patterson (Seaham) 74 73 = 147* 100

6 Craig Penny (Morpeth) 73 74 = 147* 100

9 Rob Peart (B.Auckland) 74 75 = 149* 80

10 N Poole ( Darlington ) 76 74 = 150* 70

11 D Findley ( Durham ) 78 73 = 151 52.5

11 S Henderson (Ryton) 77 74 = 151 52.5

11 J Davies ( Richmond ) 75 76 = 151 52.5

11 Lloyd Bond ( Hartlepool ) 77 74 = 151* 52.5

15 John Hutton (Whickham) 76 76 = 152* 37.5

15 Paul Ward ( Chester Le Street ) 74 78 = 152* 37.5

17 Mark Penny (Morpeth) 78 75 = 153* 25

17 I Davison (Brancepeth) 78 75 = 153 25

17 A Higgin (Brancepeth) 77 76 = 153 25

20 Danny Hair (Wearside) 74 80 = 154 15

20 P Glover (Antrobus) 76 79 = 155 7.5

Par 70 CSS Round 1 = 72 CSS Round 2 = 72

ZFL North East Masters 2010Event 14 - Woodham Golf Club - Woodham Scratch Open - 19 September 2010

1 Michael Curry (Brancepeth) 70 71 = 141* 200 points

2 J Peart (B.Auckland) 74 70 = 144 170

3 Ben Tetlow (Wynyard) 76 71 = 147* 150

4 S Goad ( ) 74 76 = 150 130

5 A Wilson ( ) 76 78 = 154 120

6 A Richardson ( ) 79 76 = 155 105

6 Nigel King ( South Shields ) 81 74 = 155* 105

8 Rob Peart (B.Auckland) 79 78 = 157* 90

9 Kieran Ayre (Ramside) 81 81 = 162* 80

10 N Poole ( Darlington ) 82 81 = 163* 70

11 S Burn ( ) 82 82 = 164 60

12 J Pringle ( ) 82 86 = 168 55

13 D Harrison ( ) 91 82 = 173 50

14 R Gander ( ) 74 NR = NR -

15 C Morfoot ( ) 81 NR = NR -

Par 73 CSS 72 (preferred lies)

Number of entrants - 35 Number of players - 15  

Final 2010 Leaderboard

ZFL North East Masters


Final Leader Board after 14 Events

Top 20 out of 149 players who have scored points

01 Mark Penny (Morpeth) 1190.8 points

02 Michael Curry (Brancepeth) 1033.7

03 Phil Ridden (City of Newcastle ) 913.3

04 Simon Lee (City of Newcastle ) 840.8

05 Nigel King ( South Shields ) 730.0

06 Richard Aisbitt ( Brancepeth Castle ) 725.0

07 Craig Penny (Morpeth) 709.5

08 Graeme Marchbank ( Durham City ) 584.2

09 Sandy Twynholm (Morpeth) 570.0

10 John Longcake (Silloth) 490.0

11 John Hutton (Whickham) 415.0

12 Michael Kimber ( Chester Le Street ) 390.0

13 Tom Rowland (Prudhoe) 372.5

14 Kris Gray (Slaley Hall) 310.0

15 Roger Roper (Wike Ridge) 310.0

16 Sean Heads (Hexham) 275.8

17 David Patterson (Seaham) 262.5

18 Adam Best ( Cleveland ) 260.0

19 Richard Robson-Crosby (Ponteland) 255.0

20 Ben Tetlow (Wynyard) 247.5

Number of entrants - 54 Number of players - 52









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