CHRIS HANSON will pose a serious threat when Alex Belt, from Bridlington Links, attempts to become the first to successfully defend the PGA North Region championship for nearly 40 years at Marriott Hollins Hall tomorrow and Wednesday.
Former Ryder Cup man Lionel Platts, then at Pannal, was the last player to achieve the double back in 1970-71.
Belt, 23, has already notched the Ryder Cup Wales 2010 Welsh Open Young PGA Professional Championship and the North Region Assistants’ Harold Lees Trophy this season.
Other main challengers for the event, where international freight forwarders Thomson Davis are new sponsors, are likely to be Ilkley-based Gordon J Brand, the European Seniors Tour player who has an attachment at Hollins Hall, Leeds Cup winner Chris Clarke, Jon Lupton, the Powerade PGA Assistants' champion, and Neil Cheetham, leader of the North Region Order of Merit which will be decided at the end of the tournament.
Fixby’s Paul Carman, John Eyre and David Astin (Woodsome Hall), Darren Arber (West End) and Lee Shepherd (Willow Valley) also carry the local flag at Hollins Hall.
Daisuke Maruyama claimed his first title for four years after the 38-year-old won the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open by four shots at Joyo Country Club in Kyoto.
Leading by the same margin at the start of the day, the Japanese golfer carded a three-over-par 74 in tough conditions to post a winning score of eight under and finish well clear of compatriot Yuta Ikeda, Korean Kim Kyung-tae and Liang Wen-chong from China.