Golf: Cort goes Down Under in bid to retain top Australian title
Rothley Park's Matthew Cort defends his PGA of Australian National Futures Championship title this week.
It is being played over 72 holes at Club Catalina in Batemans Bay, New South Wales.
Cort qualified last year as the National Assistants Champion and, having retained that title this summer, he has been invited back to Australia.
Cort flew to Brisbane, where he spent time with another former county amateur, Adam Hawkins, before travelling to Sydney to prepare for this week's tournament.
"I thoroughly enjoyed the 2011 event and was delighted and proud to win this fiercely-contested title," said Cort.
"I am thrilled to have this wonderful opportunity to go back to Batemans Bay. I enjoyed playing the course and am looking forward to putting up a good performance this time, but I know it will be hard.
"I know I need to be straight off the tee and last year the rough was very coarse."
Last season at Catalina, Cort had a 10-under-par-278 winning aggregate following his 69-71-69-69 rounds to top the field of more than 100 PGA trainees from around Australia.
Ian Lyner led the way in the County Alliance tournament at Willesley Park.
Lyner (The Leicestershire) shot two-under-par 68 to win the pro-medal by one from Birstall assistant Ross Bradshaw 69.
Bryn Morris (Kibworth) and his son, Tom, amassed 43 points to finish top overall from Bradshaw and Andy Calvert (Birstall) on 42.
Gary Coysh (Kilworth Springs) and John Poole won the pro-am prize with 41 points, with Glyn Bramley and Jeff Allen (Beedles Lake) the am-am winners on 39.
County open champion Ashley Mason has won his home club Scratch knock-out championship at Glen Gorse for the third time. He beat Ben Jacobs 5&4 in the 36-hole final.
Mason had more success when he finished runner-up in the South West qualifier of the British Universities tournament at Saunton Sands, where he hit 69-77-146.