GARY Byrne is through to the final of the Observer Golf Shield for the third time in the last five years.
The Great Harwood golfer has got the double and now he will be trying for the treble on September 3 at Whalley Golf Club.
Byrne, a former jockey, saw off Craig Catlow 5&3 in the last eight before he overcame his friend, Stuart Biggs 3&1, who had beat Clive Dunn in the quarter-finals on the last hole.
"It was strange playing Stuart as you have no killer instinct because he is your friend," said Byrne, pictured above left. "I haven't had it easy this year as it has gone to the 20th hole a couple of times and I have had to do it the hard way.
"Stuart says I had taught him everything he knows - but luckily not too much!"
Byrne will have caddy Rod Rothwell by his side again - he has been in the last two finals with him. "He is a good mate and hopefully we will be the winning combination again. It has been a good season. I equalled the course record at Great Harwood of 68 - five under par - and am through to the semi-finals at Wilpshire and Harwood."
In the other half of the draw, Anthony Wood saw off defending champion Jason Ashworth, from Accrington GC, in a good-natured match. "Jason is a good player but he beat me last year so it was nice to beat him this year," he said.
Wood will take on Paul Biggins, a former finallist in 2000, for the right to take on Bryne in the final. Accrington's Biggins beat team-mate Steve Thompson 4&3 in the quarter-finals.
- THE next meeting of the Observer Golf committee will be next Tuesday at Whalley GC at 8pm. The draw will be made for the final day competition.