AN Aylesbury Park golfer is set to play in the televised Grand Final in Dubai after beating off thousands of other competitors.
Russell Crane is celebrating this week after booking his place in the Grand Final of the UK’s biggest amateur golf event, The Matchplay Championship.
Crane, who is a member at Aylesbury Park Golf Club will be flown off to Dubai to experience the trip of a lifetime after his success in the tournament’s South Regional qualifier where he garnered 31 stableford points at European Tour venue, The Marriott Forest of Arden near Birmingham.
And Crane is in good company as he follows in the footsteps of Thomas Bjorn, Robert Allenby, ex-Ryder Cup Captain Colin Montgomerie and Open Champion Darren Clarke as winners at the impressive championship venue.
“I’m over the moon to qualify. This is an unbelievable opportunity and I’m excited to be flying out to Dubai next month,” said the 10-handicapper.
“The greens were really quick here today, but I played solid and I’m looking forward to competing in the Grand Final. Hopefully I’ll be returning home as the national champion.”
Crane will compete over three rounds at the world-renowned Els Club in next month’s Grand Final, as he enjoys a week-long trip that also includes flights to the Emirate and accommodation at the stunning Marriott Courtyard Dubai Hotel.
Tournament director John Woosey said Russell and the other qualifiers will be ‘treated like a tour pro for a week’.
He said: “We’ve got a great bunch of qualifiers from all sorts of backgrounds and handicaps.
“We’re excited to see how the rest of the tournament pans out for him and how he copes with the pressure of playing in front of the TV cameras.
“He’s certainly proved that they (qualifiers) have what it takes to win.”
Crane has scooped the amazing opportunity after paying just a £25 entry fee.
Woosey added: “It offers a phenomenal prize and we’re delighted that the event continues to grow year on year.”
The Matchplay Championship, which is now in its ninth year, will take more golfers out to the Grand Final than ever before after the tournament introduced a Men’s Singles event for the first time.
The new event runs alongside the more established Men’s Pairs and Mixed Pairs competitions, which decide the 40 golfers that will tee off in Dubai next month for the right to be named champions.
To enter next year’s event visit www.matchplaychampionship.co.uk