Seaton Carew Golf course to provide ‘tough’ challenge for Brabazon Trophy

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SEATON Carew golf course will provide a “tough but fair challenge” for the best amateurs in the business this week.

That was the message today from Seaton official Roger Impett ahead of the Brabazon Trophy which starts at the Tees Road club this Wednesday.

Players from across Britain, Europe and beyond have arrived in Hartlepool for English amateur golf’s strokeplay championship and many were today getting their first taste of the course.

And Seaton Carew’s greens chairman says the links course looks in fabulous shape for four top days of golf.

“A lot depends on the weather,” Roger told SportMail.

“If the wind is not too strong then given the length the players hit the ball these days, the course record could come under threat.

“We’re not expecting any bad weather, a little bit of rain is forecast, but that’s all.

“I think we’d like to see the wind get up a little – if it does that will demand the players show a lot of accuracy off the tee and with their approach shots.”

The former Seaton Carew club captain reports that the rough in places is “really thick” which could test a 150-strong field headed by defending champion Jordan Smith, the English international from Wiltshire.

Double South African champion Thriston Lawrence is one of 23 overseas entrants and is expected to be among the front runners.

Smith and Lawrence will be among the early starters on Wednesday, teeing off at 7.40am.

Roger added: “I think the course will be a tough but fair challenge for the players.

“I wouldn’t like to put a number on what I think will win it, but I heard one of the French players went around in 66 on Saturday, so that could be a target score.

“We’re all just looking forward to the what we hope will be a very fine competition.”

And he paid tribute to the hard work and skill of head greenkeeper Tony Cartwright, his assistant Andrew Wood, who has set the pin positions, and Ian Stewart, a greenkeeper at the 2009 Open in Turnberry.

Cartwright, who worked at Seaton when the club staged the 1985 Brabazon, will be celebrating 40 years as a greenkeeper, while Wood, an ex-club champion, has 25 years’ experience.

“Tony and his staff have done a fantastic job,” added Impett. “We’re really pleased.”

Play gets under way at 7am on Wednesday and entry is free for spectators.