Malone facing stiff competition
Malone will be targeting a record sixth win in the Belfast Telegraph foursomes beginning there on Sunday, but Down Royal, last year's beaten finalists, and four-time champions, Clandeboye, are conspicuous by their absence from a line-up of 35 clubs.
Trevor Moore and Gary Leckey, both seven-handicap golfers, will be making the 175-mile round-trip from City of Derry to play in the event for the first time, and, as usual, there'll be a strong challenge from Dungannon, Scrabo and 2004 winners, Kirkistown Castle.
It's on their home course that John Reid, a Belfast architect, and Geoff Cameron are first-time partners in this Club Orange-sponsored marathon.
"The card-and-pencil stage is always the toughest," says Nick Agate, manager of Malone, who are hosting the tournament for the eighth year running.
From Sunday's qualifying round will emerge 16 pairs for knock-out by match-play beginning September 16, and Ballymena are the defending champions.
Tee-off times: 8-30am - R Monteith / G McManus (Bangor) and City of Belfast No.1 pair. 8-40 - N Porter/ A Hanna (Bangor) and City of Belfast No.2 pair.
8-50 - A McAuley/ N Coombs (Cliftonville) and J Young/ T Higginson (Dunmurry). 9am - R Smith/ M Hamill (Cliftonville) and J Keag/ L O'Kane (Dunmurry).
9-10 - B Borkowski/ N Fitzsimons (Kirkistown C) and T Graham/ J Munn (Spa). 9-20 - M Doran/ G Tweedie (Kirkistown C) and P Gregg/ D Bittle (Spa).
9-30 - GS Cameron/ J Reid (Malone) and M McKinley/ R Limmer (Shandon Park). 9-40 - RW Johnson/ P Law (Malone) and T Coulter/ G Jenkins (Shandon Park).
9-50 - M McLean/ J Kirkwood (Belvoir Park) and Hilton Templepatrick No.1 pair. 10am - A McMillen/ A Thompson (Belvoir Park) and Hilton T No.2 pair.
10-10 - K Gavin/ T Malone (Holywood) and K Haslem/ N Patton (Lisburn). 10-20 - S Doherty/ M Gillen (Holywood) and M Murphy/ M McKnight (Lisburn).
10-30 - G Giles/ N Forsythe (Mount Ober) and Rockmount No.1 pair. 10-40 - B Watt/ G Moffett (Mount Ober) and Rockmount No.2 pair.
10-50 - Crossgar No.1 pair and C Heron/ R Sands (Greenacres). 11am - S Chambers/ S Buchannan (Greenacres) and Crossgar No.2 pair.
11-10 - A Hartley/ B Martin (Greenisland) and T Mageean Jnr/ C Adair (Scrabo). 11-20 - E Lehane/ D Ervine (Greenisland) and M Hall/ J Fullerton (Scrabo).
12 noon - P McEvoy/ D McIvor (Ardglass) and Cairndhu No.1 pair. 12-10 - G Shields/ M Doherty (Ardglass) and Cairndhu No.2 pair.
12-20 - G Stranaghan/ S Adams (Donaghadee) and Larne No.1 pair. 12-30 - Donaghadee No.2 pair and Larne No.2 pair.
12-40 - M Leinster/ P Smith (Helen's Bay) and P Farling/ W Dodds (Mahee Island). 12-50 - P Savage/ M Small (Helen's Bay) and R Topping/ A Donnelly (Mahee Island).
1am - Ballymena (holders) No.1 pair and J Todd/ D Brockerton (Castlerock). 1-10 - J Creaney/ G Gaile (Castlerock) and Ballymena No.2 pair.
1-20 - B Hunter// D Fitzpatrick (Dungannon) and Banbridge No.1 pair. 1-30 - Banbridge No.2 pair and Ivan Brown/ O McKee (Dungannon).
1-40 - T Hayes and partner (Mourne) and K Murray/ S McStay (Silverwood). 1-50 - M Jordan/ E McKeever (Silverwood) and Mourne No.2 pair.
2pm - C Wilson and partner (Royal Portrush) and M Armstrong/ E Nixon (Tandragee). 2-10 - G Donnelly/ R McMullan (R Portrush) and E Moorehead/ G McDonald (Tandragee).
2-20 - T Moore/ G Leckey (City of Derry) and Portadown No.1 pair. 2-30 - M Boyd/ C Magill (Whitehead) and marker.