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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 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.”

With two rounds left to play and several teams within a point of the lead in the Men’s Pairs Final and 2 points of the Mixed Pairs, an exciting finish beckons at The Els Club, as the undulating greens look set to have an impact on deciding this year’s winners.

“We are delighted to be hosting the Grand Final and glad the competitors are enjoying the course, which is in great shape this week. Our Course Superintendent has done a fantastic job in preparing the course with the putting surfaces running about 10 on the stimpmeter,” noted Chris Brown, General Manager at The Els Club. “With a world-class Butch Harmon Academy on site, where better to grab a lesson and move up the leaderboard?”

For further details on the Matchplay Championship or to enter the 2011/12 tournament, which will feature a NEW Men’s Singles event for the first time in 2011/2011, visit

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For results please email, and for all media enquiries please contact Gary Davidson on 01276 858 930,

Matchplay Championship: Launched in 2003, Matchplay Championship is firmly established in the golfing calendar, and will comprise of 3 separate events in the 2011/12 season; mixed pairs, men’s pairs and men’s singles. Entries are open to all golfers who are members of a golf club in the UK & Ireland with handicaps below 28 (Men) and 36 (Women) and the Regional Finals and Grand Final are covered by Sky Sports.

The JRW Group: Matchplay Championship is part of The JRW Group, which comprises GreenFree, The UK’s largest 2-for-1 green fee voucher scheme; The Golfers Club, the UK’s #1 golf membership scheme; Golf Care, the UK’s #1 specialist golf insurer; Rewards4Golf, the UK’s largest golf loyalty scheme; and Insure4Sport, specialist insurance for sports coaches and instructors.


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