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England and Wales (North) Region

Mason's up for the Leeds Cup again!

22 Jul 15

2407NorthBenMason

When Ben Mason finally had his name etched on the Leeds Cup last year he achieved a lifelong ambition.

And if he retains professional golf's oldest trophy at Moortown next week he will be become the 100th winner of a tournament inaugurated in 1902.

"It's the biggest we play for in the region but it's great to win it in any year," said Mason, 38, who coaches at Rotherham club Waterfront Golf.

"Moortown is in an area I grew up in and I spent a lot of time there as a youngster so I'm looking forward to going back.

"I used to watch the Leeds Cup as a lad and I set my sights on winning it when I came off the tour five years ago.

"It would be great to defend it but there are a lot of other fine players in the field in better form than I am in the Yorkshire area including Iain Pyman and James Freeman.

"I also note that Garry Houston, the 2012 winner, has captured the Welsh National PGA Championship, the Cheshire & North Wales Open and Mercedes-Benz International pro-am in Abu Dhabi already this season so no doubt he'll be in contention again.

"Hopefully, the Leeds Cup will inspire me to up my game. I've not been playing much recently because of my teaching commitments and looking after my 17-month only son Billy. My wife Joanna is a teacher who has just started school holidays so I will get more time to play a bit more."

Other past winners in the 160-strong field, when two days of action begin on July 29, include Paul Carman (1992), Gordon Brand (1998), Jonathan Cheetham (2003), Simon Edwards (2005), John Wells (2007) Steve Parry (2010), David Smith (2011), Garry Houston (2012) and Nick Ludwell (2013).

PGA North secretary Graham Maly said: "This is truly a unique tournament.

"The cup was presented to the PGA on its formation in 1901 by the Lord Mayor of Leeds to be competed for annually by professional golfers. Open champion Harry Vardon was the first to have his name inscribed on it at Cobble Hall.

"Moortown also hosted the first Ryder Cup on British soil in 1929 and since then most of the country's top amateur competitions so there's a lot of history attached to the club."

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