Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Time to Get Behind Jack

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Time to Get Behind Jack

Article excerpt

THE North East will be united behind Jack Hermeston at South Moor today as he chases his first national title.

The City of Newcastle junior club champion goes into the last day of the England Boys Under-16 Open two shots clear of the field on a five-under total of 139.

As impressive as that is, it steps up a level when you remember Hermeston is a year ahead of his time. He turned 15 in January, which makes him eligible for the event next year.

Yesterday he shot a four-under 68 on the tight and tricky Stanley course.

He signed for six birdies and two bogeys as other players looked on in amazement at the sizeable gallery following him.

Given the rivalry between Northumberland and Durham County, it was surprising to note most of them were members of the home club.

"Wor Jack The Lad," is as friendly off the course as his iron play is controlled on it.

South Moor, as welcoming a golf club as you will find on the planet, recognise one of their own, even he is from across the county border.

Hermeston is coached by the North's sultan of swing, Matfen Hall's Senior Tour pro John Harrison, and another of the Matfen coaches, JJ Vallely, watched his back nine yesterday.

"He looked stress free," said Vallely. "He just kept calm and kept hitting the middle of the fairways and the middle of the green. He showed a lot of maturity."

Hermeston's father, Dave, a maintenance worker at Newcastle RVI, said: "It was awesome, I have never seen him play as well as that."

To put Hermeston's efforts so far into context, there is a little known but relevant fact behind the day 17 years ago when Storm (pictured left) be-came the first and so far only North East golfer to win the tournament and lift the Mc-Gregor Trophy, as has Justin Rose and Edoardo Molinari.

This is scratch event, Hermeston's handicap, and Storm won it playing off four. …

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