A REMARKABLE 2018 season finished on a high for a Matfen junior.

Ponteland Middle School pupil Zara Naughton (12), representing Matfen Hall Golf Club, finished fourth in the prestigious European Junior Golf Championships, in Spain.

Zara qualified for the event in an event at Longhirst Hall in October, in an event organised by Golf Organiser and supported by Sky Golf.

She was the youngest competitor in the U18 event but didn’t let that faze her as she produced some outstanding performances.

The competition meant Zara played five rounds of golf on two different courses at Alcaidesa Golf Club, near Estapona.

After carding two rounds of 79 and then one of 77, she made the cut for the final round and lay in sixth place.

With Sky’s cameras filming, she produced a great finish to move up to fourth place after a final round of 76.

Zara’s mother Victoria said: “The whole experience has been top class, giving Zara valuable experience in playing competitions and playing abroad.

“Zara is extremely grateful to all at Ponteland Middle School for allowing her time away from school, and to her grandparents who accompanied her. They were first class caddies, chauffeurs and cooks, as well as the best supporters.”

Her performance in the European Championships capped a fantastic year for the talented golfer.

Her performances helped her gain selection for the North of England U18 Regional Squad.

Through this scheme, she will receive regional coaching from her home coach at Matfen, JJ Vallely, who was recently named squad coach of the year at this year’s England Golf Awards. She will also receive strength and conditioning training through England Golf.

Among the many highlights of Zara’s season was when she won the British Wee Wonders Golf Championship at Scotland’s St Andrews resort, beating competition from across the UK.

To clinch the title, she set a new course record of three under par 65 to take top spot with victory secured on the 18th hole.