The clubs have been polished. The balls retrieved. And the pressure is building for another year of finals in the Accountancy Age Masters tournament – run in association with business finance specialist NMB-Heller.
From an initial entrance of nearly 600 golfing accountants, most of the first-round qualifiers have now been decided and players are in the middle of the second-round play-offs to decide who will go to the regional finals around the UK.
From the six regional matches, played under matchplay rules, 32 players will emerge to take the trip to the prestigious home of the Accountancy Age Masters and home of the British Masters – the Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club.
But, if the demanding course proves too tough for even the most hardened boardroom competitor, the luxurious facilities of the 19th hole should provide consolation and a well-earned rest.
Following the success of the 1998 competition, which was won by Norfolk paint-brush manufacturer Hamilton Acorn’s finance director Ralph Brindle, this year’s finals promise to be even bigger.
Qualifying rounds are still taking place to select the regional finalists.
The regional finals will be held on: 3 June at Warwickshire Golf Club; 9 June at Slaley Hall, Hexham; 10 June at Mere Golf & Country Club in Knutsford; 16 June at St Pierre Park, Chepstow; 23 June at Nizels, Hildenborough; and 30 June at Hertfordshire’s Brocket Hall.
Now a firm fixture on every golfing accountants’ calendar, last year’s event has established the competition as the premier occasion for sporting and networking excellence in the profession. The high standard of golf played throughout last year’s tournament was a reflection of the association between accountants and the sport.
It also proved a reminder that many of the biggest corporate deals have been conducted out on the fairways.
This year, Accountancy Age will feature extensive coverage of all the regional finals during June and the national final in September.
Brindle hopes to retain title Last year’s Accountancy Age Masters golf tournament was won by Norfolk-based finance director Ralph Brindle who shot his way to fame after a stunning one-over-par round of 73 in the final.
This year’s event returns to the famous Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club, scene of Brindle’s victory a year ago.
His performance capped an excellent run of form through qualifying, and the two-handicap player went on to defeat scratch player Guy Phillips.
Brindle was rewarded for his endeavours with a silver platter and the coveted Accountancy Age Masters jacket which was paraded at the 19th hole.
Brindle said: ‘It really was a tremendous tournament last year and I thoroughly enjoyed it. All of the competitors were very sociable and we had a very pleasant evening before the final and then I played probably my best round that year to win the competition.’
This year, Brindle is determined to retain his title and has already made good progress beating Nick Lamb of PricewaterhouseCoopers in his first qualifying round.
The match-up was a happy coincidence for Brindle, who had been working with Lamb on a project at his decorating materials manufacturing company Hamilton Acorn only weeks before they were drawn to play each other.
David Auger, FD of petrol retailer Garner Group, was runner-up last year.
He offered his thoughts on the final: ‘The day was excellent, well organised and the weather was great.’
ROUND ONE QUALIFIERS TO DATE
Daniel Abrahams, Christopher Allen, David Allen, David Allison, Kelvin Archer, Nicholas Armes, Steven Baxter, Lawrence Bayliss, Martin Bellamy, Paul Bennett, Christopher Bicknell, Huw Bolle-Jones, Peter Bradbury, Garrie Brandon-White, Ralph Brindle (1998 Masters Champion), Peter Broadley, Patrick Brooke, Alistair Brown, Tony Brown, Richard Burton, Duncan Bush, David Cairns, Duncan Campbell, Daniel Carroll, Mark Carter, Roger Catto, P Chamberlain, John Charlesworth, David Chasemore, Stan Chicksane, Anne Clarke, Matthew Cock, Neil Cook, Mark Couzins, Neil Crees, Carl Cunnelly, Richard Dare, Philip Davis, Richard De Dombal, Stuart Dick, Barrie Dunning, Richard Edmundson, Bob Elliott, Timothy Elliott, Colin Field, Craig Fotheringham, Arun Ganatra, Donald George, Phil Giles, David Goulson, Chris Grant, Doug Green, Peter Green, Richard Greenwood, Carl Gregory, John Grierson, Russell Halliday, David Harbrow, Nigel Hewson, Stephen Hill, William Holmes, Paul Hopkins, Michael Howard, Martin Hughes, David Hunter, Bill Jackson, Ian Jacobs, Robin Johnson, Andrew Jones, Malcolm Jones, Brian Joyee, William Kane, Mical Kenny, David Kimpton, Graham King, Ian Landau, Alan Langford, Simon Lavalie, Bryan Lawrie, Simon Lewis, Jonathan Littleton, Paul Macildowia, David Madeley, Brian Magnay, Donald McLure, Richard McVeigh, Roger Merchant, Peter Meredith, Andrew Merrick, Jon Miller, Peter Mills, Brian Moleshead, Nick Moss, Alan Muggeridge, Julian Mumford, Andrew Nelson, Chris Neves, Nick Newland, Peter Omerod, David Paris, Mahesh Patel, Stephen Payne, Andrew Pickup, James Plumbley, John Potter, Kevin Powell, Denis Preston, Joan Pullen, David Pumfrey, Peter Quinn, Martin Rayner, James Ridings, Neil Robins, David Robinson, Michael Roff, Paul Russell Smith, Adrian Sanders, Paul Salisbury, Paul Sawyers, Mark Scarett, John Scott, Harinder Sethi, Neil Sevitt, Paula Simpson, Martin Slavage, James Slinn, Ian Smith, John Snell, Christopher Sowerby, Nick Stewart, Bill Strange, Robert Stubbs, Anant Suchak, Simon Thomas, Charlie Thomson, Ernest Thomson, Ian Thomson, Dale Thorpe, John Tomlinson, Alan Tranter, John Turner, Mark Wainwright, David Walker, Kevin Walker, John Walton, Jeremy Ward, John Wheatley, Michael Whyke, Paul Wigham, Paul Williams, Andrew Winstanley
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