Celebrities, defending champions, and past winners emerge unscathed from the first round of the UK’s biggest amateur golf tournament.
The highly-anticipated first round of the Matchplay Championship, the UK’s biggest amateur golf tournament, has come to a close with some familiar names emerging unscathed to book their place in the next round of the prestigious event. Reigning Men’s Pairs Champions Andy Castell and Andy Billson from Collingtree Park, plus last year’s Mixed Pairs winners Paul Fell and Joanne Beddows of Clays Golf Club, are two of the teams to advance and move a step closer to the Sky Sports televised Grand Final in Dubai. It won’t be an easy passage for Castell and Billson in the Men’s Pairs event however, as the likes of England Rugby World Cup winning Head Coach Sir Clive Woodward and his partner Peter Yates of the British Olympic Association are also still in the running.
“As the biggest event in tournament history, we’re obviously thrilled to see some of the seasoned campaigners emerging. However, there are a lot of new faces ready to knock them off their perch,” commented John Woosey, Managing Director of The JRW Group. “Having the likes of Sir Clive and Peter involved, speaks volumes about the calibre of the event and validates our position as one of the leading amateur golf tournaments in Europe.”
The second-round draw has been made and thrown up a host of interesting match-ups when play commences on Monday the 26th September. None more so than the Mixed Pairs tie between 2011 champions Fell and Beddows and 2009 Winners Steve Aylott and Lesley Mifsud. Other notables in the draw include the top-3 from last year’s Men’s Pairs championship, including runners-up Chris Scott-Douglas and Mike Ankers from The Midlands, as well as the third-placed team of Shaun Welch and Elliot Bates of Broke Hill GC, Kent. The top-3 finishers from last year’s Mixed Pair’s event also remain, in the shape of Mike Perry and Samantha Hill from Isle of Purbeck, and the husband and wife pairing of Barry and Fanny King from Wimbledon.
The ultimate goal for the competitors is a place in the Grand Final where they’ll be whisked off to enjoy 7-nights luxurious accommodation at the Dubai Marriott Courtyard Hotel and four rounds of golf at the world-renowned Els Club. The once-in-a-lifetime prize is on offer to the 40 competitors who make it out of the Regional Finals in March, which are held at two prominent Marriott venues in the UK.