The Matchplay Championship Grand Final comes to a close as competitors scorch The Els Club
The Matchplay Championship, the UK’s largest amateur golf event, continues to set the standard for amateur golf tournaments after three thrilling rounds of competitive golf in the event’s Grand Final at The Els Club, which included record-breaking scores and a hole-in-one. Men’s Pairs Champions Ryan Gaskins and Joe Higgs were responsible for a record score in round two as they accumulated 47 points in the better-ball stableford Grand Final format, while Mike Ankers from Sutton Coldfield playing in the group ahead with playing partner Chris Scott-Douglas made an ace on the par-3 17th hole for the tournament’s first hole-in-one. Gaskins and Higgs were joined in the winner’s circle by new Mixed Pairs Champions Ben and Gillian Brooks from Woking, who stormed through the field to win by one following an 18th hole birdie by 4-handicapper Gillian, and the inaugural Men’s Singles Champion Paul Llewellyn from Tamworth, who won by ten shots from James Voce with 113 points, despite the latter firing an impressive 43 points (gross 68) in the final round.
The 2012 Matchplay Championship, arguably the best in tournament history, saw some great scoring from the entire field despite scorching temperatures and a formidable but impeccably presented Troon-managed championship golf course. The winners can be proud of their achievement having battling through several rounds of match-play in the UK and a Regional Final at European Tour venue, The Marriott Forest of Arden. They were then whisked off to Dubai to enjoy first class hospitality for seven nights at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel and The Els Club.
“It’s been a fantastic week and an experience that we’ll never forget. We’ve made some great friends and enjoyed some world class hospitality, as the staff at both the hotel and the golf course treated us like royalty from start to finish,” commented Mixed Pairs Champion, Ben Brooks. “The organisation of the tournament has been superb when you consider the number of people that enter every year and for an entry fee of just £25, we truly couldn’t have asked for any more.”
Other highlights included the performances of last years’ runners-up in the Men’s Pairs, Mike Ankers and Chris Scott-Douglas, who proved that it’s possible to compete year after year, as the pair not only made it all the way back to Dubai but were tied for the lead with just ten holes remaining. The pair eventually finished in 3rd place just two strokes back of the eventual winners. The Mixed Pairs runners-up were Peter and Cathy Clement from Machynys in Wales.
“This has arguably been the greatest Matchplay Championship in tournament history. We’ve been treated to some extraordinary golf,” commented John Woosey, Managing Director, The JRW Group, which organises the event. “All of the players have had a great time and we can’t wait to return to Dubai next year!” Meanwhile, Paul Dalgleish, Marriott’s Director of Sales & Marketing, Middle East & Africa noted, “This is the 5th year we’ve been associated with the event and it continues to impress us with the quality of the golf, the sheer numbers that enter, quality of the organisation and camaraderie of the competitors. We’re delighted to be associated with the tournament and look forward to welcoming next year’s finalists to the JW Marriott Marquis.
As the 2012 event comes to a close, the entries for next year’s championship are open. For further details on the Matchplay Championship or to enter the 2012/13 tournament visit www.matchplaychampionship.co.uk.