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Big Names Advance In The Matchplay Championship

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.

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Biggest-ever Matchplay Championship Gets Underway Featuring New Men’s Singles Event

2011/12 Matchplay Championship begins as amateur golfers begin their own ‘Race to Dubai’ experience.

The Matchplay Championship, one of Europe’s biggest amateur golf tournaments, has been growing in notoriety since the inaugural event in 2003, receiving record entries for 2011/12 which includes a brand new Men’s singles event. The introduction of the Men’s Singles championship will provide the tournament with its largest-ever contingent of Grand Finalists in Dubai next May, as players descend on the world-renowned Els Club, for the Sky Sports televised finale. For an entry fee of just £25 per person, the tournament has become well-known for its professionalism, by providing amateur golfers with their own unique ‘Race to Dubai’ experience. Preliminary rounds will take place until March 2012, culminating in two Regional Finals in April, which will decide the lucky 40 competitors that will be whisked off to the Dubai hosted Grand Final in May.

“We’re delighted with the continued success of the Matchplay Championship and really excited about 2011/12, which will be our biggest year yet,” commented John Woosey, Managing Director, The JRW Group, which organises the Matchplay Championship. “The great work of our sponsors and staff, as well as the impeccable standard of our host venues, makes this event a success by providing our finalists with a truly unforgettable experience not just in Dubai, but also for the regional finalists at prestigious Marriott venues in the UK. The entries for the Men’s Singles event have exceeded our expectations, which will make for a highly-anticipated event building up to the Finals next year.”

The Men’s Singles championship joins the established Men’s Pairs, Mixed Pairs and non-active Men’s Pairs events, as competitors battle it out in the hope of claiming one of the spots in the luxurious Grand Final. Included in the once-in-a-lifetime prize is return flights to Dubai, 7-nights accommodation at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel and 4 rounds of golf at the world-renowned Els Club, as well as the prize-giving Gala Dinner.

“The Matchplay Championship gave us the golfing experience of a lifetime. I don’t think we will ever experience the service and hospitality from Marriott and The Els Club, ever again,” commented Chris Scott-Douglas, runner-up Men’s Pairs 2011. “All the other competitors made the week so enjoyable and we have made some great friends that we look forward to seeing again in the future.”

The Matchplay Championship welcomes golfers from all over the UK, with competitors in the 2011/12 Grand Final featuring golfers from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The 2011 Men’s Pairs Champions were Andy Castell and Andy Billson from Collingtree Park in Northampton, Paul Fell and Joanne Beddows from Wrexham won the Mixed Pairs, while Cardiff’s Craig Sullivan and Stuart James were successful in the“non-active” Mixed Pairs event.

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Matchplay Championship Crowns 2010/11 Winners

Grand Final of the UK’s biggest amateur golf event comes to a close at The Els Club in Dubai.

After a stunning display of fearless golf over the back nine at The Els Club in Dubai, the Matchplay Championship Grand Final was won by Andy Billson and Andy Castell from Collingtree Park Golf Club in Northamptonshire. The pair overturned a one-shot deficit going into the final 4 holes to claim the title by 2 shots from overnight leaders Chris Scott-Douglas and Mike Ankers. In the Mixed Pairs event Paul Fell from Clays Golf Centre and Joanne Beddows from Caldy Golf Club in Wrexham produced a dominant performance to take the title by 5 shots from Mike Perry and Samantha Hill. Fell and Beddows added a best-of-the-day 43 points to their existing 78 total in the better-ball stableford format. Meanwhile, in the non-active category, Stuart James and Craig Sullivan from Cardiff are the new Matchplay Champions for 2010/2011

“We’ve had a fantastic experience this week, if you’re an amateur golfer and you don’t enter this tournament you must be mad, everything is so well run it’s like playing in a professional tournament,” commented Andy Billson. “We got off to a slow start today, perhaps nerves played a part, but we really got it going around the turn making 3 straight birdies from the 7th to the 10th holes. On the 15th when Andy hit it in the hazard but amazingly the ball was playable and he managed to got it greenside. He ended up chipping it in for a birdie and four points, which took us into the lead.

The players have enjoyed luxurious accommodation at the Marriott Dubai Harbour Hotel throughout the week, as well as complimentary flights to Dubai and 4 rounds of golf at the world-renowned Els Club. Perfect weather has been a feature throughout the week as the 36 finalists, who entered for just £25 were whisked off for a truly unique amateur golf experience.

“It’s been a fantastic Matchplay Championship Grand Final. We’ve seen some great golf and experienced superb hospitality, professionalism and courtesy at both the Marriott Dubai Harbour Hotel and The Els Club,” commented John Woosey, Managing Director of The JRW Group, which organises the Matchplay Championship. “The tournament has been an overwhelming success and we couldn’t be happier. I know the players have had an unbelievable experience, so a big thanks go out to all the sponsors who without their support none of this would be possible.”

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The Matchplay Championship Grand Final Gets Underway In Dubai

Tie at the top in the first-round of Men’s Pairs Final at The Els Club, while David and Tracy Morris storm ahead in Mixed Pairs.

The Matchplay Championship Grand Final, one of Europe’s largest amateur golf tournaments has got underway today at The Els Club, Dubai, with Jim Bishop and Michael Cunningham from Langdon Hills Golf & Country Club in Essex tied for the first-round lead with Chris Scott-Douglas and Mike Ankers from Bloxwich GC and Darnford Moors GC in the West Midlands. Both teams scored 41 points in the Men’s Pairs event in the better-ball stableford format. Meanwhile, David and Tracy Morris of Collingtree Park Golf Club, Northamptonshire have stormed ahead in the Mixed Pairs with 38, and Stuart James and Craig Sullivan in the non-active event with 35 points. Perfect weather conditions and an immaculate golf course has greeted the players, who entered the tournament for just £25 at www.matchplaychampionship.co.uk. Enjoying luxurious accommodation at the Marriott Dubai Harbour Hotel, the players are battling it out in front of Sky Sports cameras for the right to be named Matchplay Champions 2010/2011.

“We had a great score today and we’re going to give a good go to keep it going over the next two days,” commented Jim Bishop, Langdon Hills Golf & Country Club. Mike made birdie on the first, which got us off to a flying start and we just tried to enjoy it from there. We’re playing well and enjoying the whole experience.”

First launched in 2003, the event has flown out 36 players to Dubai who qualified through Matchplay qualifying rounds and a Regional Final back in the UK. A competitive tournament with an essence of camaraderie has created a unique feel to this years’ Grand Final, as players bask in the delights of Dubai’s first-class hospitality.

“We’re thrilled to host the Matchplay Championships here at the Marriott Dubai Harbour Hotel, commented Jeff Strachan, Marriott’s Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, Middle East and Africa. “We’ve got a great bunch of competitors, who are staying in our luxurious apartments with panoramic views of the Dubai Palm and Dubai Marina. With incredible views from the Observatory Bar on the 52nd Floor and exquisite dining in AZ.U.R and Counter Culture restaurants, as well as a host of Spa and leisure facilities, the hotel is the ideal place to wind down after a competitive day on the golf course.”

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Army Duo Book Place in Matchplay Championship Grand Final in Dubai

Captain John Donaldson and Captain Jon Sheard will compete in Matchplay Championship Grand Final at The Els Club, Dubai.

In glorious weather conditions on the 6th April, the army duo of Captain John Donaldson and Captain Jon Sheard who are based in Aldershot, have advanced to the Matchplay Championship Grand Final being held in Dubai next month, after scoring 43 stableford points in the hotly contested Men’s Pairs event at the South Regional Final hosted by Marriott St.Pierre in South Wales. Beating off thousands of other competitors from across the UK & Ireland, the pair has won the right to compete in the concluding event of the UK’s largest amateur golf tournament, the Matchplay Championship.

Having reached the final stage of their very own ‘Race to Dubai,’ the pair will be flown out to the Emirate, where they will enjoy 7 nights of luxury accommodation at the Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel and 3 days competition at the world-renowned Els Club. Filmed exclusively by Sky Sports cameras, the pair will have the chance to shine in front of a TV audience usually reserved for the world’s best players.

“Our Matchplay Championship experience has been fantastic from the very first round. The Regional Final, with photographers and the Sky Sports cameras was amazing and we’re thrilled to have qualified for the Grand Final in Dubai,” commented Captain Donaldson. “Every pair has won 5 matches to get to this stage, so we knew we would have to play well to get through, but we’re really looking forward to the opportunity of bringing the Matchplay Championship trophy back for the Army. I’m sure we’ll be able to get the time off for the Final!”

“It’s been a great day here at Marriott St.Pierre and we have seen some tremendous golf from the players involved,” commented John Woosey, Managing Director of the JRW Group, which organises the Matchplay Championship. “Playing in front of the Sky Sports cameras is a great experience with John and Jon certainly rising to the occasion. We’re excited about seeing them compete in the Grand Final, as they’ve proved today that they have what it takes to win it.”

With the North and South Regional’s now complete, 36 golfers have booked their place in the Grand Final, being hosted at the world-renowned Els Club, Dubai, from 7th-14th May. However entries for the 2011/2012 Matchplay Championship are now open, including a brand-new Men’s Singles event. For further information please visit matchplaychampionship.co.uk.

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Matchplay Championship Northern Final Above Par

Keen amateur golfers braved the March chill to take part in the seventh Northern Final of the Matchplay Championship to win a place in the Egyptian Grand Final in May.

Matchplay Championship Northern Final Above Par

In all, 36 teams teed-up at the Marriott Hollins Hall in the stunning Yorkshire Dales for what was to be a nail-biting finale.

It has been a record year for entries in the Matchplay Championship which is now the UK’s largest amateur golf tournament and a fixture on the golfing calendar with coverage of all the finals on Sky Sports.

The top three from the prestigious men’s pairs CONGU active handicap category make it through to the Grand Final which takes place at the five star Marriott Taba Heights Golf Resort in Egypt from May 8.

Ranked first with 40 points were newcomers to the tournament Declan Quigley and Mark McCoid, joined by Kenneth Burke and Richard Law in second place with 38 points and Kevin Butler and David Anderson taking third position.

They will be joined by mixed pair winners Karen Burns and Graham Bell who won with 37 points, and husband and wife team Karen and Peter Greene who took second place in the category with 36 points.

Non active CONGU handicap champions Patrick Turtle and Cyril Morris took top spot in their category with 38 points.

“It was a fantastic day’s golfing and there were some real nail-biting moments because the scores were so close. It made it even more competitive because Sky Sports were there to cover play and interview all the competitors,” said John Woosey, Managing Director of Golf Insurance provider, The Golfers Club which promotes the Matchplay Championship.

The Southern Regional Final will take place on Wednesday, April 14 at the Marriott St Pierre where a further 10 pairs will join the lucky northern group who have already qualified for Egypt.

Each finalist will be given international flights to Egypt, a practice fourball round of golf, seven nights’ full board accommodation at the five star Marriott Taba Heights Golf Resort and attend a lavish prize-giving gala dinner.

The Matchplay Championship also recently announced that it will be hosting its 2010-11 grand final at The Els Club, Dubai.

The venue is a major coup for the prestigious tournament which was launched in 2003 giving all golfers, whether they are members of a club or not, the chance to win a trip of a lifetime and have their progress followed by the Sky Sports cameras, all for an entry fee of just £20 per person.

Entries are now open for the 2010-11 tournament which take place on May 7-14, 2011, at the stunning course designed by Ernie Els, winner of a record seven World Matchplay titles.

They have until June 30 to enter and will then take part in regional qualifier rounds before a North and South regional final. In all 36 finalists will make it to the Dubai Grand Final, staying at the sumptuous Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel.

Headline sponsors of the event are Direct Golf UK, Rewards4Golf.com and Golf Monthly and the tournament, as well as the regional finals, will be covered by Sky Sports and the Daily Telegraph. Other sponsors include GreenFree which offers golfers savings on games of golf with 2 for 1 golf vouchers

To enter the Matchplay Championship for 2010-11 or to find out more information, log onto www.matchplaychampionship.co.uk.

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