A NEW date has been arranged for the inaugural Northern Echo Northumberland and Durham Junior Open at South Moor - and Rory McIlroy's in-form double is playing in it.
The tournament had been planned for shortly after last month’s England Under-16 Boys’ Open at the same venue – both events are supported by The Stanley Area Action Partnership – but it was rained off.
The new date is Tuesday, August 16 and among the contenders will be Liam Shanley, who caddied for the winner of the Boys Open Jack Hermeston.
McIlroy look-alike Shanley , 14, said at the time he hoped caddying for Hermeston, since picked for his England debut, would help his own golf.
Shanley has got what he wished for.
His handicap, which was 18 at the time of the England tournament, has come down by five strokes in three weeks.
Having just won a monthly junior tournament at his club, City of Newcastle, Shanley said: “A lot of my recent improvement has been down to watching Jack close up.
“I have learned a lot about course management but a lot of it is down to improved putting.
“I have been noticing how Jack putts so slowly and smoothly.”
From Wideopen, North Tyneside, Shanley is about to start his GCSEs at Seaton Burn College.
He has featured on TV programmes and in Golf North East magazine because of his resemblance to US Open champion McIlroy and admits: “Nobody calls me Liam any more, everyone calls me Rory.”