A NEW highlight of the golfing year on Wearside will be launched next month.
Since the demise of the Sunderland Masters in the early 1990s, the city has been without a major open championship.
But now the George Washington club – who hosted the original Masters – are excited about a new Sunderland Plate competition, to be held on Sunday, July 17.
A prize fund of £1,000 is the big lure, with £500 for the winner of the 36-hole scratch tournament, which is sure to attract the cream of the North East’s players.
The competition is the brainchild of George Washington’s hotel director Mike Chawla and director of golf Rob Tankard, and will feature as part of the 12-event North East Masters series.
“The Sunderland Masters was a great competition in its time, the most prestigious event in Sunderland,” said Tankard.
“Mike and I wanted to bring back a championship of similar standing to showcase the course and facilities.
“We built a £3million clubhouse three years ago, and there have been changes made to the course to make it more difficult to the better golfers, including new trees.
“We’re excited about the new competition, and proud of it.
“We’ve got around 20 entries so far, a good field of some of the best players around the North East, but we’re looking for around 60. There’s £1,000 to be won, half of that for the winner.”
The event – with two rounds of 18 holes – will be played on the same day as the final round of the Open at Sandwich.
Tankard added: “It makes quite a good weekend of it, There’s all the excitement of the Open on TV and, locally, spectators can get the chance to see some of the best players around the region.”
Anyone interested in taking part, or volunteering to help as marshals on the day of the event, should call Rob Tankard on 417 8346 or email firstname.lastname@example.org