After battling through several rounds of qualifying and beating off thousands of other competitors, a local golfer is celebrating after booking his place in the Grand Final of the UK’s biggest amateur event, The Matchplay Championship.

Richard Hardy, from West Bradford Golf Club, will be flying off to Dubai to experience the trip of a lifetime after his success in the tournament’s North Regional qualifier.

He notched 33 stableford points at the European Tour venue, The Marriott Forest of Arden near Birmingham.

Hardy thus follows in the footsteps of Thomas Bjorn, Robert Allenby, former Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie and Open champion Darren Clarke as winners at the impressive championship venue.

“I’m over the moon! This is an unbelievable opportunity and I’m excited to be flying out to Dubai next month,” said 11-handciapper Hardy.

“I played great and I’m looking forward to competing in the Grand Final. Hopefully I’ll be returning home as the national champion!”

Richard will compete over three rounds at the world-renowned Els Club in next month’s Grand Final as he enjoys a week-long trip that also includes flights to the Emirate and accommodation at the stunning Marriott Courtyard Dubai Hotel.