YOUNG CHAMPION: Cara Weddell with Barnard Castle Golf Club pro Darren Pearce
YOUNG CHAMPION: Cara Weddell with Barnard Castle Golf Club pro Darren Pearce


DARREN Pearce paid tribute to Durham County junior golfer Cara Weddell after she emerged a clear winner in an event to celebrate his 25 years as Barnard Castle’s professional.

From a field of 95 club members, 17-year-old Cara was seven clear with 48 Stableford points, going round in one over par off her handicap of 13, now reduced to nine.

Darren said: “It was an outstanding performance.”

The pro presented Cara with her prize of an Epic Flash Callaway driver.

He added: “She has always had bags of potential and hopefully what she is achieving will encourage more girls to take up the game. We will always make them welcome.”

Cara, who won the Durham junior foursomes last year with Nicky Lee-Shield, spoilt her chance of a level par round by dropping a shot at the last on Pro's Day.

Second was Sue Seddon, whose husband, Nick, was one point further behind with former club captain Rennie Wood.

“It was an excellent turn-out,” said Darren.

“We raised £500 for charity, so I would like to thank all those who contributed.”

A former England boys champion, he came to Barnard Castle from Castle Eden as assistant to John Harrison, taking over as head pro two years later.

He was accompanied by his partner, Shirley Bradshaw, who still assists him and said: “It’s not so much a job as a way of life. We’ve done all sorts of tasks around the club, including cleaning when necessary.

“We’ve had help from lots of lovely people like Roly Hindmarsh and Reg Hunter, who is still playing in his 90s. I remember when I first arrived the welcome I received from the lady captain, Norma Peacock, had me in tears.”

Darren added: “We’ve enjoyed every minute.

“The game has changed in 25 years. We all have to be more inclusive in order to survive.

“We had a huge shock recently when our secretary, Stuart Everall, suffered a stroke.

“He is doing quite well and the money we raised on Saturday will go to the stroke unit of his choice.

“Meanwhile Shirley, plus the captain, Ross Law, and others are rallying round to keep things ticking over.”

In a busy week for the club, the first of two seniors opens attracted a field of 230, many of whom commented on the excellent work of head greenkeeper Mike Dixon and his staff.

Seniors’ secretary Bob Henderson put in a 13-hour shift running the event, while Peter Holliday set up and ran the halfway house with Barbara Farrer.

Contributions for the halfway refreshments saw seniors’ captain Tim Wellock raise £236 for his chosen charity, the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The event was won by Bedale’s Dave Fleming and Clarrie Suggitt with 47 points. Among those on 46 were club president Sid Lowes and his partner, last year’s captain Phil Hartley.

Nick and Sue Seddon continued their good form by winning the Balfour Vase on Sunday.

Their nett score of 65, eight under par, in the mixed foursomes event saw them finish four clear of Peter and Carol Holliday.