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Penny Bags fourth Win
1st September 2010

Mark Penny
Photo (courtesy of Richard Hannam) - Mark Penny with the trophy. George Howorth (L). Tom Slassor, Westerhope Captain (R).

The long established Bank Holiday weekend double header of the Teesside Trophy (Teesside) & the George Howorth Trophy (Westerhope) showed the competitive pedigree of two double County Champions in the ZFL North East Masters.

At Teesside, Durham's Michael Curry took full advantage of ZFL leader Mark Penny's absence, firing two fine rounds of 70 in tricky conditions. Curry's four under par total gave him a one shot win over D Gravis from Wheatley with defending ZFL Masters Champion Simon Lee (City of Newcastle) a shot further back. Curry's win moved him to within 63 points of Mark Penny (Morpeth) & Lee's third place finish at Teesside eased him into third place in the ZFL table, 126 points adrift of Curry with City team mate,

Phil Ridden, moving up to fourth. Penny's brother Craig has slipped down to fifth. At the Marston & Coors sponsored Westerhope event, the roles were reversed with Mark Penny playing & Michael Curry absent this time. Penny really made it count, decimating the course & the rest of the field with two stunning rounds of 66 for a 12 under par 132 & a three shot win over Phil Ridden with Simon Lee once again third, eight shots behind. Ridden must have thought he had a chance when he folowed his first round 68 with a fine 67.

Before playing his putt on the 18th, he trotted over to the nearby scoreboard to check the scores. The look on his face told the story!  Mark Penny had an added bonus on the day. Reducing his exact handicap to +3.4 & supports his plans to play in as many national events as possible in 2011. Penny has now won four of the 11 ZFL events & has a 249 point lead over Simon Lee with Curry only 14 points behind Lee. Ridden has consolidated his fourth place position whilst the ever consistent Nigel King (South Shields) has moved into fifth having scored points in eight of the 11 events.

Cumbrian star, Silloth's John Longcake, is one of two new entrants in the ZFL North East Masters top 20. His joint third place at Westerhope sees Longcake move into 10th place whilst Northumberland young gun, Richard Robson-Crosby (Ponteland), comes in at 18th after his seventh place at Westerhope. There are now just three events left, all of them on Curry's doorstep.

Next is the Bishop Auckland Bowl on September 4 followed by another double header on September 18 & 19 at Brancepeth, Curry's home club & finally Woodham. Mark Penny might have a big lead but the last two tournaments show how quickly positions can change. This year, the ZFL Masters presentation will take place at the winner's home club & it's too tight to call whether a Northumberland or Durham player will take the spoils.

After Westerhope, 122 players have scored points in the series, including 46 each from Northumberland & Durham, underlining the interest players from both Counties & further afield have in the ZFL Masters. Top five players in the table are:

01 (01) Mark Penny (Morpeth) 1090.0 points

02 (03) Simon Lee (City of Newcastle) 840.8

03 (02) Michael Curry (Brancepeth) 826.7

04 (04) Phil Ridden (City of Newcastle) 793.3

05 (06) Nigel King (South Shields) 625.0

Full information about the ZFL North East Masters can be found at www.zflgolf.co.uk including a link to entry forms. Attached: 1. Photo (courtesy of Richard Hannam) - Mark Penny with the trophy. George Howorth (L). Tom Slassor, Westerhope Captain (R). 2. Results & latest ZFL North East Masters table from Teesside & Westerhope









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