The UK’s largest amateur golf tournament, The Matchplay Championship, is extending the deadline for entries to its 2010-11 tournament because of unprecedented demand.
Already entries for the tournament, which will be hosting its Grand Final at the Els Club in Dubai, have topped last year’s by nearly 800 golfers and today (July 1) organisers announced a seven day extension for entries.
“The Matchplay Championship has grown from strength to strength and has now firmly established itself on the golfing calendar,” said John Woosey, Managing Director of The Golfers Club which promotes the Matchplay Championship.
“Last year we had 1,894 pairs enter, so far this year 2,240 pairs have entered but that’s little wonder considering the prize that they’re playing for. By extending the deadline, we’re enabling any golfer who fancies the challenge the chance to enter and make it our biggest tournament yet.”
For just £20 fee, golfers have the chance to win a once in lifetime trip for the Grand Final at The Els Club in Dubai as well as staying seven nights at the stunning Marriott Dubai Harbour Hotel and being filmed by Sky Sports throughout.
“Since we launched in 2003 we have worked hard to get the best partners in the business on board, including Sky Sports and Marriott Hotels. Part of the success has to be down to those partnerships and the exposure we get as well as the product which offers unrivalled ROI for participants,” added John.
Indeed, The Matchplay Championship has the support of Matchplay King himself, Ernie Els, who has won 60 tournaments since turning professional in 1989, including two US Opens, an Open Championship and a record seven World Matchplay titles.
The 41-year-old champion has backed the tournament; “The Els Club Dubai really feels like my home club away from home. Whenever I’m in that part of the world I practice there and play there. The Desert links design makes it a very special golf course and everyone at Ernie Els Design is understandably proud of what we’ve achieved. I think it’s a strong test for players of all standards and in my view there’s no better venue for the finals of The Matchplay Championship”, said Ernie.
Because of the extension, golfers now have until July 7 to register for the chance to be on the plane to Dubai next May.
Anyone who enters will then take part in regional qualifier rounds before a North and South regional final. In all 36 finalists will make it to the Dubai Grand Final, staying at the sumptuous Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel.
Each finalist will be given international return flights to Dubai, 3-days of competition at The Els Club, seven nights’ accommodation at the Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel and a lavish prize-giving gala dinner.
There are three categories which are: Men’s pairs with a CONGU active handicap and mixed pairs with a CONGU active handicap. There is also a third category for Men’s pairs with a non-active CONGU handicap which enables golfers who are not members of a golf club to enter the event.
Headline sponsors of the event are Direct Golf UK, Rewards4Golf.com and Golf Monthly and the tournament, as well as the regional finals, will be covered by Sky Sports and the Daily Telegraph.
In May the 2009-2010 Grand Final at the Marriott Taba Heights Golf Resort was hailed as the best ever Grand Final with highlights recently screened on Sky Sports.
“The event just gets better year on year and anyone who caught the highlights will know just how gripping The Matchplay Championships is. We weren’t sure how to top that but with the Dubai venue and now Ernie’s support, 2010-11 looks like being the most successful Matchplay Championship ever,” added John.
Matchplay Championship www.matchplaychampionship.co.uk