02 May 2008 Last Updated: 27 June 2013

By Staff Writer

FOUR golfers from the UK & Ireland are celebrating after being crowned Matchplay Champions at a thrilling final at a luxury five-star resort in Egypt.

Pairs James Lightfoot and Michael Brockbank; and Ryan Boal and Catherine Corry were named Mens Matchplay Champions and Mixed Matchplay Champions after beating off competition from 1600 golfers who entered the prestigious tournament last July.


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They were among sixteen pairs of golfers from across the UK and Ireland who jetted off to Egypt to compete in the grand final of the prestigious Matchplay Championship organised by The Golfers Club and sponsored by American Golf, Rewards4golf.com and Todays Golfer

They took part in a testing 54-hole Stableford competition on the renowned championship course at the luxurious Marriot Taba Heights Beach Resort on the Red Sea Coast.

Lightfoot and Brockbank stunned the field with some tremendous golf over the opening two days to open up a 13 point lead over their closest rivals with scores of 45 and 48. The Cheshire pair completed their impressive tally with a score of 40 on the last day to win by a comfortable 12 points.

Lightfoot, a 19-year-old who plays at Upton-by-Chester GC off a handicap of eight, provided a bit of extra colour to the occasion with his bright clothing on the course.

He said: “We have both had the time of our lives; the hotel, food, course and location are just perfect. To play well and go on to win the Matchplay Championship is really just the icing on the cake.”

Brockbank, an 18-year old fourteen handicapper from De Vere Carden Park GC, delayed his return to university by a week to play in the grand final, added: “I really don’t think it has sunk in yet. The whole experience has been incredible and the resort is absolutely fantastic. It was definitely the right decision delaying my return to university by a week.”

The mixed pairs winners, plus two handicapper Boal and Corry, who plays off 15, from County Down in Northern Ireland, didn’t have it as easy as the other pair and had to work a bit harder for their win.

In the end they won by four points after two opening round returns of 40 points and a third round 39.

Boal said: “The course was challenging, in great condition and positioned in spectacular surroundings. I’m delighted we’ve gone on to win the competition.”

Corry added: “It’s a fabulous resort. Everything about the Matchplay Championship was great and the really good news is that Ryan now owes me a holiday, because I paid his £20 entry fee.”

The golfers all had plenty of chance to soak up the wall-to-wall sunshine and relax in one of the most stunning locations on the planet.

The region experienced a heat wave while the tournament was being played and temperatures soared as high as 110 degrees on the last day of the competition.  Buggies were provided for all competitors and bottled water was in abundance with one golfer drinking six litres in one round!

When not pitting their wits against the Taba Heights course, many of the golfers took the opportunity to take trips from the hotel to the Pyramids or Petra in Jordan, or walk the few yards across the sands to the Red Sea where a number of water sports were enjoyed.

The Marriot resort, nestled on the Sinai Peninsula on the Red Sea coast, is famed worldwide for its luxurious surroundings, championship golf course and stunning scenery.

As this year’s finalists are returning from their thrilling final, entries for the 2008/09 competition are already being invited.

Golfers have until the end of June to enter before the competition begins in earnest in July as thousands of golfers will once again go head-to-head for a coveted seat on the plane to Egypt.

The championship costs just £20 per person to enter and golfers who want to enter the 2008/09 event can do so online by visiting www.matchplaychampionship.co.uk

The results of the 2007/08 Grand Final were as follows:

Mens’ Teams

H’cap

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Total Pts

Ian Backhouse

5

37

38

40

115

Gareth Whiles

13

David Jones

4

40

36

39

115

Mark Williams

13

James Lightfoot

8

45

48

40

133

Michael Brockbank

14

Ray Long

21

37

36

44

117

Martyn Timson

18

Raymond Parr

9

38

38

39

115

Colman Scanlan

16

Peter Smart

6

41

39

41

121

Neil Keirs

9

Ian White

13

42

36

40

118

Ben Coombes

4

Mixed Teams

H’cap

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Total Pts

Ryan Boal

+2

40

40

39

119

Catherine Corry

15

Gordon Cairns

4

33

34

39

106

Penny Cairns

23

Gary Cook

8

40

38

34

112

Kelly Morley

6

Barry Golightly

7

36

36

28

100

Lynda Golightly

20

James Hair

18

33

29

34

96

Margaret Hair

18

Tony Ribeiro

11

40

36

39

115

Joy Stephenson

19

Mark Riley

9

31

39

38

108

Claire Surgeon

21

Paul Wigley

12

35

35

34

104

Gillian Lamond

23

 

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