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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 UKís biggest amateur golf tournament


The highly-anticipated first round of the Matchplay Championship, the UKís 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 Menís Pairs Champions Andy Castell and Andy Billson from Collingtree Park, plus last yearís 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 wonít be an easy passage for Castell and Billson in the Menís 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.

ďAs the biggest event in tournament history, weíre 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,Ē commented John Woosey, Managing Director of The JRW Group. ďHaving 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.Ē

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 yearís Menís 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 yearís Mixed Pairís 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 theyíll 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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For more information on the Matchplay Championship please visit For all media enquiries please contact Gary Davidson on

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, menís pairs and menís 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 UKís largest 2-for-1 green fee voucher scheme; The Golfers Club, the UKís #1 golf membership scheme; Golf Care, the UKís #1 specialist for golf insurance; Rewards4Golf, the UKís largest golf loyalty scheme; and Insure4Sport, specialist insurance for sports coaches and instructors.


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