Leeds club likened to Belfry by tour chiefs

Joe Heraty of Moor Allerton gets out of the bunker
Joe Heraty of Moor Allerton gets out of the bunker
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Moor Allerton has been likened to some of the finest courses in the country ahead of the staging of a PGA EuroPro Tour event at the club next week.

The Clipper Logistics Championship takes place from Wednesday to Friday next week, the second year in succession that the Leeds venue has staged the event.

Last year the tournament on the third-tier circuit was shoe-horned into the latter stages of the schedule at the end of September, but such was the response from players and officials, that it has been given a prime slot in the middle of summer this year.

With 156 players vying for a prize pot of £39,185, the event has to be staged at a club that can cater for such huge numbers and on a course good enough to match the standards.

And on a schedule that also comprises a former Ryder Cup course, Moor Allerton has been described as one of the best on the rota.

EuroPro Tour spokesman Nick Teale said: “The team have been up to Moor Allerton a few times this year and the reports coming back are that the course is looking fantastic.

“It’s already one of the best courses we have on the schedule.

“We played at the Oxfordshire this year which has hosted European Tour events and the Brabazon course at the Belfry which has obviously staged the Ryder Cup – and Moor Allerton is among those.

“And the position it has in the schedule now, at the start of August as opposed to the end of September, is a prime position for it. We’ve got a full field of 156 because we can utilise more daylight hours and I know from speaking to a number of the players, they’re really looking to playing the course again.

“I imagine the glorious conditions we have had will make the course hard and bouncy, and that the greenstaff will do a grand job getting it ready.”

Attracting a EuroPro Tour event to the Leeds course was the brainchild of club pro James Whitaker some 18 months ago.

Having convinced the members before laying the groundwork for last year’s visit and this year’s event, he can now sit back and let the action unfold.

“We’re really looking forward to it,” said Whitaker.

“It was a great tournament last year and it promises to be even better this year.

“The reason we moved it was to get better weather, but it was good weather last September to be fair.

“With it being the school holidays as well hopefully we’ll get a few more in to watch.

“With us having hosted the Moor Allerton Classic on the Yorkshire PGA last week, it means we can have two big events next to each other in the calendar and it enables the greenstaff to get the course ready for one big run.

“We’ve got a good sponsor in Clipper, they’ve really backed the tournament well. A number of other sponsors have supported us.

“And it’s a fun week. Once it gets started the PGA takes over the running of the event so myself and the members can just sit back and enjoy watching the golf.”

Moor Allerton member Joe Heraty, who has represented both Leeds and Yorkshire amateurs, won a place in the field by claiming victory at the Moor Allerton Classic earlier this month.

Others in the field include last year’s winner Billy Hemstock (Teignmouth), Scott Dougles (Wakefield), 2013 Yorkshire Amateur champion Chris Halley (Malton and Norton), James Hepworth (Ilkley), Richard Law (Low Laithes) and recent EuroPro Tour winner Steve Uzzell (Hornsea).

The course closes on Sunday evening with a practice round scheduled for Monday, a pro-am Tuesday, and the first of three rounds over three days next Wednesday.

Ben Hutchinson receives the Yorkshire amateur championship trophy for 2016 from then YUGC president Jonathan Plaxton after his victory at Moortown.

Past president Jonathan Plaxton to take over from Keith Dowswell as YUGC secretary