SENIOR amateur golfers with a handicap of five or lower have the chance to take on former European Tour winners and ex-Ryder Cup players when the Leeds Senior Masters returns to Leeds Golf Centre next month.
The inaugural event was won last June by club pro Mark Booth, who edged European Senior Tour veterans Andrew Oldcorn and Peter Baker to collect a cheque for £5,000.
Booth, from the Delapre Golf club in Northampton, shot back-to-back rounds of 68 to win by one from Scot Oldcorn and ex-Ryder Cupper Baker by two.
Mark Booth - defending his title
Baker has pledged to return to Yorkshire, which has always been a happy hunting ground and holds fond memories.
He won his first European Tour event at Fulford in 1988, beating Nick Faldo with an eagle three at the last hole in a sudden-death play-off.
A regular visitor to the city in recent years when visiting his daughter who studied at Leeds University, Baker – at the close of the event last year – said: “This has been a great event. I always enjoy playing in Yorkshire and have some great memories like Fulford and as an amateur when I used to play with my old Walker Cup captain Rodney Foster on a Sunday morning at Ganton, which is superb, and at his home course Bradford.
“There are some fantastic courses here in Yorkshire, and Ilkley is another favourite of mine.”
Paul Streeter, who won his place on the Staysure (European Senior) Tour at Q school will also return and will be hoping for a happier ending.
He blew his chances of winning last year with a double bogey six at the short but fiendishly difficult final hole, and Booth will also be back to defend his title.
And amateurs who are 49 or older this year with a handicap of five or lower can go shoulder to shoulder with what promises to be another impressive field, and the low man will be awarded with a special amateur prize during the 36-hole event, which will be played this year on June 27 and 28.
A pro-am will be held the day before the action starts and places are filling up quickly with teams of three partnering a professional priced at just £195.
Spectators are welcome to attend on all three days and entry is free, which provides a superb opportunity to see top professionals up close and personal.
The event is the brainchild of Nigel Sweet, Operations Manager at Leeds Golf Centre, who joined the senior circuit in 2016 after playing the game as an amateur for 38 years. Sweet said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Leeds Golf Centre will again play host in what will be the biggest event outside the Staysure European Senior Tour and with another big prize fund on offer.
“We hope the event will capture the imagination of our fantastic golfing community here in Leeds and we look forward to welcoming the players and spectators.
“We still have a number of sponsorship opportunities available for the event, including pro-am places, so please get in touch early to avoid any disappointment.”
Those interested should contact Nigel at Leeds Golf Centre on 0113 288 6000 or email him firstname.lastname@example.org