Yorkshire Challenge: Consett duo reign supreme after three-day Ryder Cup march around county

CONSETT'S Aaron Leathley and John Kennedy came storming out of the chasing pack to win the eighth edition of the hugely popular Yorkshire Challenge, a pairs event held annually on the county's three Ryder Cup venues - Lindrick, Ganton and Moortown.

2020 Yorkshire Challenge winners Aaron Leathley and John Kennedy, of Consett.

Leathley and Kennedy – who had trailed 36-hole leaders Mark Lee (Sherwood Forest) and Peter Whittaker (Worksop) by four points - complemented scores of 42 and 41 at Lindrick and Ganton respectively with 40 at Moortown for a 123 total that saw them win by three.

The tone was set for Lee and Whittaker's day with a blob at the first and they plummeted to sixth after a 30pt tally at Lindrick.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Rudding Park's John Macnamara and Richard Pallister, who had matched the eventual winners' scores on the same courses on days one and two, closed with 37pts at Moortown to finish as runners-up on 120.

A point behind them in third were Hornsea's Sam Middleton amd Mark Cooke, who had begun with 37pts at Moortown, added 39 at Lindrick on day two and produced Friday's best score on the closing day at Ganton, 43, with five of those points coming on the penultimate hole where Cooke had an eagle two for a net albatross and five points.

They finished as Moortown Series winners, Supreme Overall champions Leathley and Kennedy were top, of course, in the Lindrick Series, and Howley Hall's Bob Carr and Paul Blackshaw triumphed in the Ganton Series.

Leathley and Kennedy laid the foundations for a successful final day through the former, who birdied the first two holes, which he augmented with three-pointers at the seventh, 13th and 18th, the latter pair sandwiching Kennedy's birdie at 15. Their one-pointers at the 10th and 17th ultimately proved an irritating irrelevance.

Macnamara and Pallister were grateful that closing out each nine at Moortown with one-pointers did not allow Middleton and Cooke's storming finish to edge them out of second place.

Christopher Bembridge and Paul Liddle (Doncaster) came in with the best final-day score at Lindrick, the highlight of the 43pts returned coming at the 364-yard 12th where Bembridge had a net eagle.

Chris Merewether (Garforth) and Howley Hall's Richard Stevens totalled 41, the top display at Moortown on Friday, the former recording net eagles at the 440-yard second and 428-yard 13th.

Each duo competed for daily prizes, series supremacy and the overall title, won last year by Hessle's Rodney Shimwell and Andrew Greetham.

There were three series, each named after the course on which the pairings began their journey in pursuit of glory in a competition that has become more popular year-by-year since its inception in 2013.

Lindrick head professional John King was one of the men behind the concept, which was born during a marketing committee meeting looking at ways of attracting players to the three Ryder Cup venues with which the area is blessed. His former assistant Luke Allen continues to act as the tournament's administrator following his move to join the Peter Cowen Golf Academy.