Bradford champion's concern after Berry good show

Bradford champion's concern after Berry good show

Andy Couzens putting the ball on the 18th hole

Andrew Busfield putting the ball

Andy Ingham from Shipley lines up a shot on the 18th hole

Matthew Halliday plays a shot out of the bunker

Chris Suddards drives off at Bingley

James Marshall from Keighley tees off on the first hole

James Tate from Bradford tees off on the first hole at Bingley

First published in Sport
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YORKSHIRE captain Darryl Berry was pleasantly surprised by his Bradford Open win at Bingley St Ives but wants to see more local youngsters making their mark.

The 35-year-old former professional clinched the title for the second time - 11 years after his first success on the same course - following a play-off win over The Manor's Mark Weighman.

The pair needed an extra hole to separate them after both had finished joint top on level par after two rounds, with Berry birdieing the first to be crowned champion in the fading light on his home course.

He said: "It's nice to beat the young ones and to win a trophy and take it home to show my little boys but it's a bit worrying for the Bradford Union."

The Baildon-based player, who is in his second year as county captain, added: "It's nice to be Bradford champion again but it's just a one-off thing. It's a shame that there are not a lot of juniors coming through.

"Yorkshire are pulling from a lot of areas but not from Bradford, apart from Will Whiteoak, who is a force to be reckoned with.

"I don't know where the next Yorkshire player is coming from (locally) which is kind of worrying as I want to pick from Bradford."

Keighley's Calum Hey won last year's Bradford Open as a junior but finished well down this year as experienced golfers dominated the top end of the leaderboard.

Not surprisingly, Bingley's strong contingent figured prominently, with six of the top seven coming from St Ives as assistant pro Paul Humpherson and Dane Bairstow finished one shot off the pace.

Berry's opening 72 included birdies at the first, 14th and 15th, while his second-round 70 saw him eagle the first and birdie the 14th.

Weighman, who ironically was in the first group out along with Berry, made nine birdies over 36 holes but an eight at the par five second during the afternoon proved costly.

The new champion's first Open success came in 2003 before he went on try his luck on the EuroPro circuit in the paid ranks.

"I was a lot more excited to win it then," said Berry, who spends most of his time watching competitive amateur golf now, in his role as Yorkshire skipper, rather than playing it.

"I just go and do my best now with no expectations other than to enjoy golf.

"Being captain and watching the Yorkshire players has given me a bit of the bug back and for the first time in two years I've done some practising."

The plus one handicapper is now hoping to claim more silverware in a non-playing capacity as Yorkshire bid to clinch the Northern Counties League, in which they are top with two matches to go.

His white rose men have also qualified for the English County Championship finals at Royal North Devon in September.

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