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Wednesday, 25 August 1999
Neil Coles chases a third European Seniors Tour victory of the season this week, at the Belfry PGA Championship, which would move him to the top of the Order of Merit.

Coles last won this event in 1989, when he triumphed for the fourth successive year.. This year he starts as one of the favourites following his victories in the Energis Senior Masters at the start of the month and then the Dalmahoy Scottish Seniors Open last week. He has now won 13 titles on the European Seniors Tour and 44 titles in a career spanning five decades.

With 42,000 euro (£30,000) on offer for the winner and 28,000 euro (£20,000) for second Coles has the chance to move ahead of both Tommy Horton and Christy O’Connor Jnr in the Money List with a top-two finish.

Horton, the defending champion, is also looking to move to the top of the Order of Merit with a good week. The 58-year-old has only won once this season, the Beko Classic, but has his sights set on winning the John Jacobs Award for a fourth successive year. Indeed it was this time last year that Horton made his move to the top of the Order of Merit when he by two shots with a total of 277 to leapfrog Brian Huggett into first place.

Other leading challengers include Bob Shearer, winner of two events this year, David Jones, Eddie Polland, David Oakley and Alan Tapie.

The Belfy PGA Seniors Championship will be played on the PGA National Course, the third course in the Belfry complex, for the second successive year. Designed by Dave Thomas and opened in 1997, the course features all that is needed for the modern game, with extensive moulding providing definition or the players. Lakes and water come into play on eight of the holes but it is the bunkers which pose the biggest problem on this demanding course.

The tournament starts with pre-qualifying on Wednesday and the successful players go on to join the 60 or so exempt players for the 72-hole Championship which gets underway on Friday.

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