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Robins hoping to call the tune for champion Peters; Around the greens 'Having finally won the title, I don't want to let it go'.

Byline: Anthony Woolford

DEFENDING champion John Peters will tomorrow put his PGA National PGA Pro-Am Championship title on the line at Cardiff Golf Club.

Just five months after his victory with amateur partner Adam Curtin, pictured, over the PGA Sultan Course in Turkey, the former St Mary's pro, now attached to the Machynys Peninsula course, in Llanelli, returns to the Welsh capital aiming to book a return trip to the Mediterranean hot-spot to defend his crown.

Peters will be joined in his quest at the regional final by amateur Paul Robins, a four handicapper.

But a stellar field also have their eyes on the grand final and a luxury stay at the Sirene Beach & Hotel Resort and Antalya Golf Club, including 2006 champion Richard Dinsdale (Parc Golf Academy), Newport's Paul Mayo - who missed out on reaching last year's final on countback, Royal Porthcawl's Peter Evans, second over the same track in the Welsh National Championship last September, and his PGA of Europe Welsh team colleague Lee James (Caerphilly) are also among the pros expected to challenge at the top of the leaderboard.

However, having just returned to the competitive fold, Peters, a three-time finalist, is confident of are peat success at Cardiff with the aid of his partner.

"Each time I've got to the final I've done so with a four or five handicapper," said the 42-year-old.

"I've got another one this time and having won the tournament at the third attempt in December, I certainly don't want to let it go.

"I've had a love affair with this tournament and I want that to continue. I think this is the best PGA event on the schedule. It's good fun, but there is also some good competition.

"I know there will be a bit of pressure at Cardiff as the defending champion, but I've got an idea of what score is required.

"I also know the class of professional is consistently higher every year and that the quality in the whole of Wales is making the competition stiffer every year."

Included in that is last year's runner-up Mayo, who will be partnered by 37-year-old bank manager Mark Mountford.

Mayo, a former British Amateur champion who played alongside Jack Nicklaus in the 1988 Masters, admitted he was looking to make up for last year's disappointment as losing on countback was hard to stomach.

"I was gutted, but you've got to feel for your amateur partner more because this is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity," he said.

This year's field will also see Launceston's John Tozer and amateur partner Alistair Martin making a 300-mile round trip to compete in the event, while making a much shorter trip are Simon Swales (Radyr), Robert Evans (Pyle & Kenfig), Leejay Barnes (Celtic Manor), Matthew Hearne (Milford Haven) and Christine Burton (Trefloyne), who is the only female professional in the field.

anthony.woolford@mediawales.co.uk
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 8, 2008
Words:481
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