You could win a dream golf holiday to Portugal like Blackpool FC supporter Chris Nay by entering The Gazette Matchplay 2019
Chris Nay only took up golf again because of the boycott of his beloved Blackpool FC - and he is so pleased he did as St Annes-based Chris enjoyed a luxury golfing holiday in Portugal last year as a finalist in the Gazette Matchplay tournament, finishing runner-up.
As we launch the 2019 competition, again so generously sponsored by Blackpool taxi firm Blacktax, Chris will bid to earn a return ticket to the Algarve and hopefully go one better.In 2014, Nay stopped attending Bloomfield Road as the fans' boycott against the Oyston family's ownership of the club began.Instead, he found another arena where he could wear tangerine – St Annes Old Links Golf Club.A Gazette Matchplay quarter-finalist in 2017, Chris last year earned a place among our final four for the golfing trip of a lifetime - a three-night stay in the luxury resort of Alvor, playing resplendent and challenging Algarve courses, with all travel, golf and accommodation paid for by Blacktax.Chris joined the thousands of Blackpool supporters who returned to Bloomfield Road for the match against Southend United a fortnight ago and said: "I’m a big Blackpool fan and it is great to be back. I’ve not been going for a while. That is where golf started really."When I stopped watching Blackpool about five years ago I went back to Old Links."“I had been a junior there and I rejoined, so maybe I should thank Blackpool FC for getting me to Portugal!”Coach of the year at the 2018 Fylde Sports Awards, Chris has recently launched his own sports coaching company, visiting primary schools to deliver and support PE sessions, while also running children's sports clubs in the evenings, over weekends and during school holidays. Nay lost out in last year's Gazette Matchplay final to three-time champion Chris Boyes of Fleetwood GC, who will not be defending his title as his wedding clashes with our finals in Portugal at the end of September.Nay added: "It's a brilliant competition, which anyone can do well in, and I was lucky enough to reach the final last year."The trip to Portugal is great but it is a really good competition leading up to that, with the opportunity to play different courses around the Fylde coast depending on where you are drawn.“You meet people from different clubs, with the dream ticket to Portugal for four players at the end of it."It was nice to have three players from Old Links in the final four but it was very good to meet other players and play their courses."After all the miserable weather we've had, I'm looking forward to the golf season starting. I'd encourge anyone to enter the Gazette Matchplay because you might get to Portugal."This year the finals return to one of our most popular Portuguese venues, the Henry Cotton Championship Course at the Penina Golf Resort, near Alvor, from September 26-29.Our dedicated website for entries is now open at https://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/matchplaygolf/ (link at top of story) where full details can be found. Entry forms are also printed in The Gazette each Wednesday (alongside our golf coverage) and in our sister newspapers Fleetwood Weekly News and Lytham St Annes ExpressCompetitors must win through five rounds to reach the quarter-finals on September 3 at Lancaster Golf Club, where our Portugal-bound final four will be decided.