Parry bids to retain Lancs Open crown

 STEVE Parry defends his James Brearley Lancashire Open title at Blackpool North Shore next week (Sept 11-12) with his confidence riding high after a successful spell on the PGA EuroPro Tour.

The 39-year-old professional at Hart Common, where he also runs the North West Golf Academy, said: “I’ve competed in six events so far and my highest finishes have been 12th and seventh.

“As far as I’m concerned it’s the top tour in the UK which offers a great opportunity to pitch yourself against better players.”

Parry won the James Brearley tournament last year after beating Yorkshire’s Michael Ramsden in a play-off at the first extra hole.

The Renishaw Park professional, who won the iconic Leeds Cup earlier this season, will be hoping to avenge that defeat when the 36-hole event, which carries a £9,700 purse, gets under way

Parry reckons the North Shore course is a great test. “You have to make the right decisions or you can get caught out,” he added.

More than 100 PGA professionals will battle for honours and an added incentive is the pro-am which concludes the event.

Many famous names have adorned the trophy since its instigation in 1973 when the winner was 1969 Ryder Cup player Alex Caygill.

The following year Ian Mosey, who went on to a successful year on the European Tour, triumphed on the first of three occasions – a feat bettered only by Pleasington’s Ged Furey who, after his first triumph in 1991 achieved three in a row from 1995 to 1997 and claimed a fifth victory in 2000.

David Shacklady also completed a hat trick with his 2005 victory and he’s looking to extend that record after a recent successful run.

In 2000 the title sponsorship was taken on by Blackpool-based stockbrokers, James Brearley & Sons with huge success.  Record crowds witnessed a fantastic duel at Blackpool North Shore between Furey and European Tour player Paul Eales, with the former coming out on top.  The leading amateur in 2000, Richard Walker, went on to win the English Strokeplay Championship for the Brabazon Trophy at Royal Birkdale the following year.

James Brearley & Son’s sponsorship has continued to this day and in 2010 the tournament upgraded to a full PGA in England & Wales (North) Order of Merit event.

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