England and Wales (North) Region
09 Sep 14
Alex Belt could be wearing a smile as wide as Blackpool's famous Golden Mile if he wins the PGA in England and Wales (North) Mike Slater Order of Merit title next week.
The 28-year-old Europro Tour player, attached to North Yorkshire resort Snainton Golf Centre, has already bagged two of the six ranking events and finished runner-up in another this season.
He goes into this weekend's inaugural Carus Green Open in Kendal 295 points in front of his nearest rival and 2013 Order of Merit holder David Shacklady.
And it's likely the issue will be settled back in Blackpool next week in the James Brearley Lancashire Open at the town's North Shore club - just up the road from Herons' Reach where Belt won the North Region Championship in May.
Belt, who also represents De Vere, can expect some stern opposition from a 126-strong field at North Shore which includes nine past winners from both sides of the Pennines including defending champion Kris Andrews from Ashton-on-Mersey.
Some 270 ranking points are up for grabs in the final two events so there's still a lot at stake including places in the end-of-season Titleist PGA Play-Offs at Turkey's Antalya Golf Club on November 29-December 1.
There will be a 54-hole shoot-out for BMW PGA Championship spots and an added incentive for the 24-strong field is securing one of the top three places to earn automatic qualification for the Great Britain & Ireland PGA Cup team to face the United States in CordeValle, California, in 2015.
Meanwhile, this is the 14th year the Lancashire Open has been sponsored by Blackpool-based stockbrokers, James Brearley & Sons.
The tournament, upgraded to a full PGA in England and Wales (North) Order of Merit event in 2010, will be preceded by a pro-am on Monday (Sept 15).
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