Emmet John Hughes, colleague to then US president Dwight Eisenhower, famously said: ‘As an intellectual, he bestowed upon the games of golf and bridge all the enthusiasm and perseverance that he withheld from his books and ideas.’ It is that kind of dedication that entrants for this years’ Accountancy Age Masters tournament – run in association with business finance specialist NMB-Heller – will need as the battle to wear the coveted Accountancy Age Masters jacket swings into action. To make this year’s tournament harder, a record number of entrants – 624 – from the financial world entered into the qualifying rounds, making this year’s Masters possibly the toughest so far. Most of the qualifiers have now been decided and players are moving on to the regional finals which are to be played around the UK. From the six regional matches, played under matchplay rules, 36 players will emerge to take the trip to the ‘fairways of heaven’ at The Belfry – the venue of the 2001 Ryder Cup – on 11 and 12 September. But, if this demanding course proves too tough for even the most hardened boardroom competitor, the facilities at the most important hole of all – the 19th – will provide warmth and relaxation. The regional finals will be held on 7 June at Slaley Hall, Hexham; 8 June at Mere, Knutsford; 15 June at St. Pierre Park, Chepstow; 22 June at Hever; 27 June at Brocket Hall, Welwyn Garden City; 28 June at the Forest of Arden, Meriden and the final on 11-12 September at The Belfry. Last year the final was remembered for the stormy weather and victory for PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Nick Moss who was crowned as the champion, despite a relatively low score of 34 points. He had won the South East regional final at Nizels golf club, and was delighted to take first place. ‘It was a great day, apart from the weather. Even when I came in I didn’t think I had won. When we got to the half way point one of the guys in our four-ball said 17 points would win it on the back nine. The rest of the time was just about hanging in there,’ he explained. This year he is back and more determined than ever to do well, but he almost didn’t make the tournament after entering at the last moment. He has however shot his way into the regionals again this year. To follow the progress of the tournament, Accountancy Age and AccountancyAge.com will feature extensive coverage of all the regional finals during June and the national final in September. FINAL DATES 7 June at Slaley Hall, Hexham 8 June at Mere, Knutsford 15 June at St. Pierre Park, Chepstow 22 June at Hever 27 June at Brocket Hall, Welwyn Garden City 28 June at the Forest of Arden, Meriden Final on 11-12 September at The Belfry. ?:
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