MORE than 100 of the North's top senior golfers will descend on Bardsea tomorrow for the first day of their big regional championship.

The North Counties Golf Union Senior Amateurs' Championship will take over Ulverston Golf Club for the next two days.

Players from across the region will battle it out for the title, with a clutch of South Cumbrians hoping home advantage pays off.

Ulverston captain Neil Bremner will lead them off, when he tees off at 7.30am tomorrow morning alongside club-mate Kevin Mahon and Furness's Neil Tippins.

Home players Martin Barrand, Michael Brown and Bill Watkinson will be among those following them over 36 holes, with Barrow's John Whetstone and Colin Mahon, and Windermere's Andrew Atkinson also among the 128-strong field of players with handicaps of 12 and below.

Bremner is looking forward to hosting the biggest men's competition in the club's history, and said: “It's a massive honour – I hadn't realised it was such a big event. We'll have low-handicap golfers from all around the North of England, the Isle of Man.

“It's a very high quality competition and there are some extremely good golfers playing.

“I think it's the biggest men's competition we've ever hosted. In terms of the profile and the quality of the field, this is unquestionably the best.”

He added: “It's good for the club in terms of prestige, and hopefully revenue of course – hopefully they will spend money behind the bar while they are there.

“It's good for the area, because it's a two-day event and the majority of the players will stay over; some of them will come up on the Monday for a practice.”

While there has been rain in South Cumbria over the past few days, the majority of the last couple of months has been non-stop sunshine, which has made it hard for greenkeepers throughout the area to keep their courses in good shape.

But Bremner is delighted with how Ulverston looks, and said: “It's actually in fantastic condition. We've got waterways onto the greens, so we can get those as good as we can, which is the main aspect.

“The course is playing a bit like a links course – hard and firm and bouncy – but it looks amazing. We had a county match a couple of weeks ago between Cumbria and Northumberland, with the best golfers in the counties, and some of the players were saying they were the best greens they had seen for years and it was a pleasure to play on.”

“We just hope the weather continues for us. We don't want it to rain on the day!”

Bremner hopes one of the local players is able to take the win over the next two days at Ulverston.

They will have the knowledge of the course to their advantage, but are coming up against some golfers with plus-handicaps in a competition played off scratch, so it will not be easy.

“It would be lovely if we got a local winner,” Bremner said. “But that's going to be difficult – I recognise the names of the some of the other guys, and there are some very tough players to beat.

“It would be nice to get a home winner certainly. It always helps to know the distances and the lines, but whether it pans out on the day, you never know.”

As for his own prospects, he added: “I don't think I've a chance of winning the main prize. For myself to beat these plus-handicap golfers, there is virtually no chance.

“They do have auxiliary handicap competitions as well though, so it would be nice to feature in one of those.”