England and Wales (North) Region
04 Aug 14
Nick Ludwell fulfilled a lifetime ambition when he finally got his hands on the iconic Leeds Cup (above) last year.
And the former European Tour player can’t be ruled out of keeping a grip on professional golf’s oldest trophy next week at De Vere Oulton Hall – despite a shortage of match practice.
Last summer he only played twice before the tournament and admitted he was a “little surprised” by his victory. “I didn’t have any great hopes of winning so I was fairly relaxed about my prospects and maybe that contributed to my success,” reflected the 42-year-old Selby professional.
“The situation hasn’t changed much. I’ve been too busy to get out and about but I’ve managed to squeeze in three events.
“I’m taking my family on holiday in Scotland this week and I’m hoping to persuade them to let me play a couple of rounds up there!”
There will be nine past winners in the 140-strong field, including six from the last seven years, when two days of action start on August 12.
Among them are Challenge Tour player Garry Houston, who prevailed in 2012, and Swinton Park’s David Smith and Steve Parry, from the North West Golf Academy at Hart Common, who preceded the Welshman on the two previous occasions.
Waterton Park’s Scott Barber, John Wells from Snainton Golf Centre, and Manchester-based Jonathan Cheetham, also hope history will repeat itself.
The end of the De Vere sponsorship will be marked by the appearances of two “golden oldies” in the shape of Paul Carman, the Huddersfield-based John Letters staff player who won in 1992 and Peter Scott, successful five years later, who runs his own golf school in Birkdale.
There’s also a welcome appearance from 2007 PGA North champion John Harrison whose coaching commitments at Northumberland club Matfen Hall have restricted his playing opportunities.
The £14,000 tournament will be preceded by a pro-am on August 11.
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