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Manchester golfer heads to Morocco

AN AMATEUR golfer from Manchester is preparing to head out to Morocco next month on an expenses-paid trip of a lifetime to compete in the senior pairs final of the 2016 Morocco Matchplay, powered by HowDidiDo.

Fork-lift driver Kevin Taylor, 51, a five-handicapper, will be joined by his playing partner, retired police officer Malcolm Crowson, 62, as the Oulton Hall club-mates go for glory in the winter sun of Marrakech. They will be joined by 30 other golfers who qualified from two regional finals in 2016 to play in the grand final, which takes place from February 7-10.

Among the other 30 are another pair of North West golfers. Retired police office Ian Appleton, 56, a 14 handicapper from Mellor and a member at Mellor & Townscliffe, will team up with 56-year-old kennels owner and Davenport member Philip Housley, a six handicapper from Woodford, in the hunt for national glory.

All will all enjoy complimentary return flights from Gatwick to Marrakech, courtesy of the event’s partner British Airways; five nights’ luxury bed-and-breakfast accommodation in the five-star Palmeraie Palace; four rounds of championship golf on the Robert Trent Jones-designed PalmGolf Marrakech Palmeraie; a welcome cocktail reception; and a last-night gala dinner and prize presentation.

Four competitions culminate at the grand final, sponsored for a third year by the Moroccan National Tourist Office (MNTO): singles, pairs, mixed pairs and senior pairs. Each finalist will have played up to four qualifying rounds merely to reach the regional final, with the knockout rounds taking place between June and September, and the regional finals in October.

Previously, the event – formerly known as the HowDidiDo Matchplay – was played in Rabat, in 2015, and Essaouira, in 2016. And, as part of the continued partnership with the MNTO, the competition continues to visit different areas of the beautiful North African country.