Golf: Chasing St Andrews dream at Moortown

Moortown's Nick McCarthy
Moortown's Nick McCarthy
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The quest to pit their wits against the best in the world in the greatest golf tournament of them all begins at Moortown on Monday week for a host of local golfers.

Regional qualifying for the Open Championship is one of the first dates a scratch amateur or professional looks for every summer, primarily for the enormity of the prize that is on offer – the chance to play for the Claret Jug.

Such a carrot is not easy to reach out and grab – not that it ever should be.

One hundred and five golfers will tee-off at the former Ryder Cup venue on Monday, June 22, knowing their chances of progression will be slim.

For they are less than 10 per cent of the entire field of regional qualifying, with Moortown being one of 13 sites where 100 or so golfers are pitching up to chase a dream.

Even if they claim one of the 12 qualifying spots they still have another hurdle to overcome, final qualifying in Scotland eight days later when across four courses just 12 places in total will be on offer at St Andrews from July 16-19.

Still, that does not stop some familiar faces teeing off at Moortown, like home golfers Nick McCarthy and amateur David Houlding; Mid Yorkshire’s Aran Wainwright, Selby’s Nick Ludwell, Low Laithes’ Richard Law and Moor Allerton professional James Whitaker.

Here is the list of local golfers in qualifying at Moortown:

7.30: James Murray (Leeds Golf Centre);

7.52: Nick McCarthy (Moortown);

8.03: James Ward (Dewsbury), Steve Pullan (Garforth);

8.14: Aran Wainwright (Mid Yorkshire);

8.25: Scott Dougles (Wakefield);

8.36: Daniel Gavins (Walton Driving Range);

8.58: Oliver White (A, Pannal);

9.58: Oliver Hunt (Headingley);

10.09: Jack Vince (Wetherby), Philip Darlison (Roundhay);

10.20: Simon Coumbe (A, Pontefract), Richard Law (Low Laithes), Ben Hutchinson (A, Howley Hall);

11.31: Danny Wilkes (Headingley);

11.42: David Houlding (A, Moortown);

11.53: Mark Pullan (Garforth), Nick Ludwell (Selby);

12.04: Craig Bradley (A, Garforth);

12.26: Tom Irwin (A, Alwoodley);

12.59: Thomas Curtis (Pannal);

1.15: Andrew Rigby (Leeds Golf Centre);

148: James Whitaker (Moor Allerton).