Golf Care Matchplay Championship Grand Final underway

Golfers from across the UK and Ireland have made the trip to the Els Club in Dubai to take part in the final of the Golf Care Matchplay Championship - the UK's biggest amateur golf event

Golf Care Matchplay Championship

Golfers from across the UK and Ireland have made the trip to the Els Club in Dubai to take part in the final of the Golf Care Matchplay Championship - the UK's biggest amateur golf event.

The three-day Grand Final got underway on Monday and scores from the first round of the Men's Pairs, Mixed Pairs and Men's Singles competitions have been impressive.

All competitors entered the tournament for just £30 and qualified for the final by coming through a series of knock-out rounds, including a Regional Final at the Marriott Forest of Arden.

The event - which is being filmed by Sky Sports - gives competitors the chance to play golf in one of the Emirate's best courses and stay in the renowned 5-star Marriott Marquis Dubai.

"We're delighted to be back in Dubai. The hospitality at The Els Club and the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel is truly first class - I can't think of anywhere better to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the event," said John Woosey, Managing Director.

"The course is looking immaculate and all the players have praised the condition of it."

In the Men's Singles, four-handicapper Maartens van Rensburg currently leads defending champion Paul Llewellyn after compiling 32 points on day one.

"It's been great so far. I've played well today and my wife is relaxing by the pool back at the hotel, so everybody's happy! I'm looking forward to the next couple of days," said Maartens.

In the Men's Pairs, Robert Leonard and Kevin Mannering opened with an impressive 42-point total in the betterball stableford competition to lead defending champions Martin Firth and Andrew Taylor by a single point.

In the Mixed Pairs, Martin Pyke and Anne Wheble are tied with husband-and-wife pairing David and Tracey Morris after round one.

The Golf Care Matchplay Champinship was launched in 2003 and has grown into the UK's biggest amateur tournament over the last decade.

For live scoring and to enter the the 2013/2014 tournament, visit www.matchplaychampionship.co.uk

Nick Bonfield
Content Editor

Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, commissioning and feature writing. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel win The Masters and PGA Championship respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email nick.bonfield@futurenet.com with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x