STRATFORD golfers James Neale and Caroline Griffiths will begin their quest to win Europe’s biggest pro-am competition next month.
Neale and Ingon Manor PGA professional Griffiths tee up in a Lombard Trophy regional final at Little Aston Golf Club on June 7, one of 14 regional finals being staged across the UK.
They will be up against 64 other clubs with the winning club going through to compete in the 36-hole final at Portugal’s luxurious Pestana Vila Sol Golf & Hotel resort on the Algarve in September.
Neale landed a chance to have a tilt at qualifying for the grand final when he won his club qualifying competition with a nett score of 70.
The 26-year-old, who is an electronics technician from Temple Herdewyke, has been playing golf for two years and plays off a handicap of 19.
Griffiths has been a professional at Ingon Manor for six months. PGA pros play an important role in the success of golf clubs, using their expertise and knowledge to benefit all aspects of a club’s business.
Lombard, the UK’s largest asset finance provider which invests in local and regional business, has enjoyed a long association with the event, helping make it the biggest pro-am in Europe.
Ian Isaac, head of Lombard, added: “Following the success of the Lombard Trophy in previous years, we’re delighted to once again be working with the PGA to offer the opportunity for professional and amateur golfers to play in this very exciting competition.
“This year’s event will culminate at Vila Sol, one of the most prestigious courses in the Algarve. We’d like to welcome all the golfers taking part in the 2016 Lombard Trophy and wish everyone the best of luck.”
The tournament attracts entries from upwards of 700 clubs across Great Britain and Ireland. Lombard originally sponsored the tournament from 1995 to 2006 before returning as headline sponsor in 2013.
Last year’s winners were PGA Professional Jason Levermore and amateur partner Ben Steed from Channels Golf Club, Essex.