EXAMINER matchplay champion Andrew Mear faces a huge test in the opening round of this year’s tournament when he tackles Halifax, Huddersfield Union player Edward Battye.
The Dewsbury District member, a one-handicapper, is likely to provide a formidable hurdle for last year’s winner Mear, from Cleckheaton.
Coincidentally, Mear took the title at Dewsbury last September and subsequently made his mark on the Examiner Overseas Challenge holiday in Fuenigrola last November.
This year’s tournament features a two-leg opening round (home and away) and Mear (eight) will have first advantage over his own course, before visiting Battye at the Pinnacle.
Last year’s beaten finalist Robin Hanson, from Woodhall Hills and a 17-handicapper, meets David Law (12) firstly at Elland.
Another man to narrowly miss out 12 months ago, Jonny Heyes, takes on ex-Yorkshire and Meltham cricketer Paul Booth.
Both men play off six and Heyes has first crack over his own Fixby course before heading off to the Heath.
Newly-installed Alliance Page Trophy winner Ian Saxton, from Meltham, meets David Potter of Dewsbury, again both competitors ideally matched off eight handicaps.
Meltham are the most prominent club with six entries, and because of the ongoing problems with their greens (they were severely damaged last year), their members have deliberately been drawn to play away in the first instance, on the understanding that their course should be available for the return leg in sufficient time before the deadline date.
The first round (both legs) must be completed with results submitted by the winner to David Lockwood at the Examiner office (01484 437757) by Monday, June 9.
It is the responsibility of the first-named player in the tie to contact his opponent to arrange a mutually convenient date and time to play.
Should a tie be all square at the end of the second leg, then the match will continue down extra holes until a winner is decided.
If the tie cannot be arranged and played within the timescale allowed for each round, the likelihood is that both competitors will be eliminated at the discretion of the organisers.
Once again the tournament is sponsored by Hanson Worldchoice and the Examiner, with the eventual winner lifting the top prize of a free golfing holiday to Portugal in November.
This year’s final four players will battle it out at Woodsome Hall on Thursday, September 18, when as well as the fantastic prize of the holiday, there will also be runners-up prizes for the second, third and fourth place finishers.
Full first-round draw:
John Belfield (Crosland Heath 8) v David Scott (Marsden, 14).
Michael Havis (Dewsbury, 14) v Chris Holmes (Meltham, 5).
Andrew Mear (Cleckheaton, 8) v Edward Battye (Dewsbury, 1).
Jonny Heyes (Huddersfield, 6) v Paul Booth (Crosland Heath, 6).
Dave Law (Elland, 12) v Robin Hanson (Woodhall Hills, 17).
Michael O’Hara (Bradley Park 11) v Norman Corcoran (Meltham 14).
Steven Illingworth (Crosland Heath 13) v Steve Whiteley (Meltham, 13).
Colin Hall (Crosland Heath 5) v Glenn Crisp (Huddersfield, 14).
David Mallinson (Marsden, 14) v Jim Hemmings (Meltham, 14).
Nick Wilson (Huddersfield, 7) v Jack Thewlis (Meltham 12).
David Potter (Dewsbury, 8) v Ian Saxton (Meltham, 8).
Pat Carmody (Woodsome Hall, 21) v David Lockwood (Elland, 22).