Bumper field in prospect for first Alliance of year

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THERE promises to be a bumper field, and the return of a star performer, when the Halifax, Huddersfield and District Alliance programme resumes after its traditional winter break.

The first meeting of the second half is at Crosland Heath on Tuesday, February 21 and secretary Barry Isles already has 66 pairs entered.

“It’s very encouraging,” said Isles, who is yet to receive the entries from Meltham, who are in the process of appointing a new professional.

The first tee times are planned for 7.30 and only four more pairs can be accommodated.

Bradley Hall’s Rob Booth, last season’s professional order of merit winner, is not down to play but Chris Hanson is.

The Woodsome Hall man is back from playing his first-ever European Challenge Tour event in India.

Hanson tied for 30th place in a field of 114 and it promised to be much better after rounds of 72, 73 and 73 at the Kensville Golf and Country Club in Ahmedabad. However, a five-over-par 77 resulted in him slipping down the leaderboard.

Hanson will be the man to beat at Crosland Heath, where he will be partnered by Bradley Hall’s Gary Shuttleworth, before his next European Challenge event in Colombia next month.

Crow Nest Park’s Gareth Evans, Ogden’s Dave Delaney and West End’s Darren Arber are other intended opponents in the local event.

Halifax will host the following Alliance event on Tuesday, March 6 and then it is back to Crosland Heath for the rescheduled national alliance event on Monday, March 26.

The first attempt to stage the national, on October 10, was thwarted by bad weather, torrential rain forcing an abandonment.

Isles said Halifax-Huddersfield still intended to field four teams with Dewsbury pro Nigel Hirst entering the mix.

Ryburn

February Medal, Division One: 1, J Kitson 84-14-70; 2, J E Hoyle 83-12-71.

Division Two: 1, P Hyde 86-19-67; 2, C Marshall 84-16-68.

Official World Rankings: 1 Luke Donald (Eng) 9.59pts, 2 Rory McIlroy (NIrl) 7.86, 3 Lee Westwood (Eng) 7.54, 4 Martin Kaymer (Ger) 6.10, 5 Steve Stricker (USA) 5.74, 6 Webb Simpson (USA) 5.30, 7 Jason Day (Aus) 5.17, 8 Adam Scott (Aus) 5.07, 9 Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 5.00, 10 Dustin Johnson (USA) 4.78, 11 Graeme McDowell (NIrl) 4.60, 12 Matt Kuchar (USA) 4.49, 13 Nick Watney (USA) 4.36, 14 K J Choi (Kor) 4.23, 15 Brandt Snedeker (USA) 4.01, 16 Sergio Garcia (Spa) 3.97, 17 Phil Mickelson (USA) 3.84, 18 Tiger Woods (USA) 3.79, 19 Bubba Watson (USA) 3.67, 20 Justin Rose (Eng) 3.65, 21 Hunter Mahan (USA) 3.65, 22 Ian Poulter (Eng) 3.62, 23 Bill Haas (USA) 3.61, 24 Paul Casey (Eng) 3.55, 25 Keegan Bradley (USA) 3.45, 26 Simon Dyson (Eng) 3.39, 27 Alvaro Quiros (Spa) 3.38, 28 Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 3.37, 29 Thomas Bjorn (Den) 3.37, 30 David Toms (USA) 3.36, 31 Kyung-Tae Kim (Kor) 3.35, 32 Robert Karlsson (Swe) 3.34, 33 Bo Van Pelt (USA) 3.34, 34 Peter Hanson (Swe) 3.24, 35 Jason Dufner (USA) 3.23, 36 Anders Hansen (Den) 3.20, 37 Rickie Fowler (USA) 3.16, 38 Martin Laird (Sco) 3.12, 39 Fredrik Jacobson (Swe) 3.07, 40 Sang-moon Bae (Kor) 3.06, 41 Mark Wilson (USA) 3.05, 42 John Senden (Aus) 3.04, 43 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 3.01, 44 Geoff Ogilvy (Aus) 2.95, 45 Zach Johnson (USA) 2.93, 46 Ben Crane (USA) 2.91, 47 Paul Lawrie (Sco) 2.91, 48 Retief Goosen (Rsa) 2.81, 49 Gonzalo Fdez-Castano (Spa) 2.80, 50 Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa) 2.76, 51 Aaron Baddeley (Aus) 2.73, 52 Kyle Stanley (USA) 2.69, 53 Ryo Ishikawa (Jpn) 2.67, 54 Y.E. Yang (Kor) 2.65, 55 Darren Clarke (NIrl) 2.62.