Luck of the draw against champion
THE defending champion and top seed could hardly have a harder start to his Saffery Champness Men’s Island Championship title defence.
A pair of Guernsey’s best ball strikers will have been knocked out by Monday night as two of the most naturally talented players in the draw – Jack Mitchell and CJ Elmy – have been pitted together in a heavyweight preliminary round tie on Sunday, with last year’s winner Danny Blondel lying in wait for the winner in the first round proper.
Mitchell gave Blondel his toughest test on his way to the crown 12 months ago, the eventual champion requiring an extra hole to get past his good mate, while youngster Elmy has proved capable of beating anybody on his day, meaning that there will be no easing his way into the tournament for the champion.
There is also a big clash in the second quarter of the draw as former finalist Dave Jeffery will face seed Danny Bisson on Monday evening.
In the bottom half of the draw, second seed Bobby Eggo could come up against another multiple Guernsey cap in Dave Nicolle if the latter comes through his preliminary round match, while last week’s Piccadilly Trophy winner, Tom Le Huray, begins his campaign with a tricky tie against 2016 inter-insular player Wayne Moore.
There are some notable absentees in the field of 35, with former champions Steve Mahy and Andy Eggo among those not to enter due to other commitments.
Saffery Champness Men’s Island Championship
Preliminary round (Sunday from 2.30pm)
J. Mitchell v. CJ Elmy; C. Thompson v. M. Bertrand; G. Rihoy v. D. Nicolle.
Top half (Monday from 4.15pm)
D. Blondel v. Mitchell/Elmy; G. Melhuish v. R. Bateman; W. Harwood v. W. Anees; B. Rolph v. J. Nicolle; N. Vaudin v. R. Le Marquand; D. Bent v. M. Allez; S. Bonner v. S. Le Huray; D. Jeffery v. D. Bisson.
Bottom half (Tuesday from 4.15pm)
D. Griggs v. C. Thompson/Bertrand; M. Marley v. P. Le Page; A. Evans v. M. Creber; W. Moore v. T. Le Huray; J. Blondel v. L. Sheppard; E. Thompson v. N. Tanguy; D. Robinson v. S. Mills; Rihoy/D. Nicolle v. R. Eggo.
Second round on Wednesday 23 May from 4.15pm.
Quarter-finals on Thursday 24 May from 4.42pm.
Semi-finals on Friday 25 May, 4.50pm and 5pm.
Final (36 holes) on Sunday 27 May, 9.15am and 2pm.