England and Wales (North) Region
09 May 14
David Shacklady's name is synonymous with golf in areas stretching far beyond his home county of Lancashire - and he would love to see it engraved on the PGA North Region Championship trophy.
The Mossock Hall man, almost equally renowned for his skills at darts, believes the time has come to hit the bulls-eye after going agonisingly close over the years.
"I've been second on several occasions, including last season, so maybe I'll finally make the breakthrough this time," he said as he spoke about his prospects for the 36-hole flagship tournament which swings into action at De Vere Herons' Reach next Tuesday.
Victories in the Manchester Open and Yorkshire Masters in 2013 earned him his third Michael Slater Memorial Order of Merit award in seven campaigns and other assorted successes auger well for his chances at the Blackpool resort.
He's also kept his game up to scratch throughout the winter, winning several minor events and enjoying warm weather training in Texas.
"We had a family holiday in Houston and I took the clubs along as well," said the 47-year-old, who is among more than 130 professionals vying for honours at an event that will mark the end of a long-running association with De Vere.
Royal Liverpool assistant Michael Jones defends the title he won by a shot from of Shacklady, 2012 champion Adrian Ambler, of Yorkshire club Low Laithes, and Teesside's Vincent Guest.
Other past winners in the field include Lancastrians Mark Bradley, from Chorley; Haigh Hall's Craig Corrigan; Penwortham assistant Ryan O'Neill and Europro Tour player Alex Belt, from Bridlington.
Meanwhile, as announced last month, the championship will move to its new home at Carus Green, Kendal, next year.
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