A PAIR of golfers are celebrating winning through to the grand final of one of Europe’s biggest amateur competitions – at a luxury five-star resort in Egypt.
Nine-handicapper Steve Aylott, from Saughall, and Lesley Mifsud, from Malpas, who plays off 26, have beaten off competition from more than 2,300 other golfers in the Matchplay Championship with a series of impressive performances.
Now they are looking forward to competing for the title of Matchplay Champions in the 54-hole Grand Final at the luxurious Marriott Taba Heights Beach Resort.
Their combined score of 40 Stableford points secured them the first available mixed-pair qualifying spot after the regional final at Hollins Hall, on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors.
The pair, who play at Carden Park Golf Club, will now head off for a week-long expenses-paid trip to Egypt to play against other regional qualifiers from across the UK and Ireland, from May 9-16.
The overjoyed duo were almost speechless as their success sank in, but Mifsud said: “I still can’t believe we’re going to Egypt. We played well throughout the competition, but this still seems extraordinary.”
Aylott added: “A week out in Egypt will be fantastic. I didn’t think I’d be needing sun cream this early in the year, but I’d better get a supply in now.”
The Matchplay Championship is one of Europe’s biggest amateur competitions with more than 1,150 teams from the UK & Ireland competing. This year they faced the added thrill of playing before the TV cameras of Sky Sports, which is covering both regional finals and the grand final.
In total 16 teams from across the UK and Ireland are travelling to compete in Egypt – eight mixed pairs and eight men’s pairs.
Among them will be Gordon Livingston, a detective constable with Cheshire police from Tarvin. One-handicapper Gordon, 41, has qualified with Ian Brandon, from Winsford. The pair play at Vale Royal Abbey Golf Club.
Golfers are now able to enter next year’s event and details are available at: www.matchplaychampionship.co.uk