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Race to Rockliffe Grand Final
9th November 2012

Tom Smith (Eaglescliffe Golf Club), 2012 winner of the Durham County Golf Partnership's Mizuno Race 2 Rockliffe

EAGLESCLIFFE Golf Club's Tom Smith landed the top prize as Durham's exciting competition for young golfers reached its dramatic conclusion.

The 2012 Mizuno Race 2 Rockliffe has seen up and coming golfers from across the region competing in 15 different events to score points on an order of merit.

The leading 30 players qualified for the grand final at Rockliffe Hall, which saw 20 year-old Smith come out on top in the gross competition.

He returned a score of 74 against a par of 72 to claim the championship by two shots to add to his success in the gross category of the order of merit.

The nett champion is 15 year-old Tom Skelton, from Beamish Park Golf Club, who returned a level par score from his handicap of seven.

A member of the Durham County Academy, Skelton won last year's nett order of merit, but having only just scraped into the leading 30 qualifiers this time round he saved his best golf until last!

The Mizuno Race 2 Rockliffe is organised by the Durham County Golf Partnership and is in its second year.

Sponsors Mizuno and Rockliffe Hall have announced a further two-year extension of their support.

A total of 180 boys and girls - up by 40 on 2011 - played more than 800 rounds of golf between them in a bid to reach the grand final.

The boys' nett order of merit competition was won by Smith's Eaglescliffe clubmate Harrison Downs while Natasha Martin (Beamish Park GC) was the girls' winner.

The grand final saw players between the ages of 12 and 21 taking part in two competitions - mixed gross and mixed nett - with handicaps ranging from one to 28.

Says Jonathan Ward, county development officer for the Durham County Golf Partnership: "Thanks to the continuing support of Mizuno and Rockliffe Hall, the end of season final was a day to remember with some great prizes, top performances and a golf course to match.

"We are delighted that both Mizuno and Rockliffe hall have agreed to extend their support as we look to build on the success of the first two years.

"This year saw more players taking part in an increased number of events to qualify for the grand final and thanks to the support of both our sponsors and the clubs in Durham, it is a competition that will continue to go from strength to strength.

"It provides young golfers in the county with a structured competition that allows them to test their skills against players of a similar ability at a variety of different locations in a competitive situation.

"I would also like to add a big thank you to all the volunteers who have supported the Mizuno Race2Rockliffe throughout the year. Without the support of the many volunteers from our partners who turned out for the grand final, the whole event would not have been possible. We were able to send out each group with an official marker which added to the sense of occasion and meant the event ran very smoothly."

Adrian Longstaff, national sales manager for Mizuno UK, presented the prizes to the winners and along with Ian Knight, director of golf at Rockliffe Hall, announced the continued backing for the competition.

Registrations for the 2013 Race2Rockliffe open in the new year with a full list of the dates and venues of the qualifying events appearing on the Durham CGP website

The Race 2 Rockliffe is one of a number of projects aimed at increasing participation in golf, run under the umbrella of the English Golf Partnership.

The England Golf Partnership (EGP) brings together the amateur governing body, England Golf and the PGA, to grow the game with the support of the Golf Foundation and Sport England.

County Golf Partnerships, involving the county men's women's and professional organisations, are part of the EGP's Whole Sport Plan for golf and an integral part of its vision to make England the world's leading golf nation by 2020.

The Durham CGP is supported by the Durham County Golf Union, Durham County Ladies Golf Association and the North East PGA.

For more details of the Durham County Golf Partnerships activities, please visit

For more information on the work of the Durham County Golf Partnership contact Jonathan Ward, County Development Officer, Durham County Golf Partnership.

Mobile: 077758 48602


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Rockliffe Hall's state-of-the-art spa, world-class golf course, well-equipped meeting rooms, three restaurants and sublime service ensure it is the perfect place to escape and relax, to do business and to create memories that will linger on.

Since its founding in 1906, Mizuno has prided itself on its strong support for numerous worldwide sports events and its dedication to advancing sports through cutting edge research and technology.

The company's high quality products - that only Mizuno can produce - are relied upon by athletes throughout the world, including top golfers. Mizuno has a reputation for superior quality equipment for serious performance through the artful combination of technology and craftsmanship


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