PGA unveils national schedule

PGA Professionals will get the chance to showcase their playing skills in another varied and exciting national tournament schedule unveiled for this year climaxing in the PGA Play-Offs in Turkey.

Among the summer highlights will be a return to The Oxfordshire for the Titleist & FootJoy PGA Professional Championship with the £90,000 event on July 26-29.

Ireland’s David Mortimer lifted the coveted title when the 72-hole tournament was last staged at the Rees Jones designed former European Tour venue.

Nine regional qualifiers will determine the 144 strong field for the flagship event for PGA club pros with some of the UK’s leading courses welcoming upwards of 600 pros eager to qualify, with the added incentive of earning some PGA Cup points with qualification for the 2017 team beginning here.

With a range of categories catered for in the national schedule, the over 50s will take centre stage in the first event of the season from May 11-13 when the Senior PGA Professional Championship tees off at Foxhills.

It will be the third straight year it has been hosted at the popular Surrey venue which in 2015 signed a five year extension to stage the tournament over its Bernard Hunt and Longcross courses.

Foxhills has proved a happy hunting ground for the Scots with Fraser Mann and Kenny Hutton winning there in the last two years.

Leading finishers in the £37,000 tournament will also qualify for the PGA Seniors Championship.

July sees the 36-hole Asbri Golf sponsored Welsh National PGA Championship making a return to the classic links of Tenby Golf Club which hosts the event for the first time since 2006 when Sion Bebb triumphed.

The south Wales course, loved so much by former Ryder Cup captain Dai Rees that the third hole was named after him, will take centre stage from July 5-6.

Following the PGA Professional Championship at The Oxfordshire, a busy August sees three events beginning with the £32,500 Galvin Green PGA Assistants’ Championship.

Up first in the wake of its successful debut sponsorship last year, Galvin Green is looking forward to welcoming assistants to the Harry Vardon-designed Little Aston track from August 3-5.

Meanwhile the £35,000 Golfbreaks.com PGA Fourball Championship returns to Carden Park from August 17-19 where PGA Cup winner Lee Clarke will have the chance to defend his title with Jack Lynch.

Closing out August is the ever popular PGA Super 60s which this year makes its first visit to Scotland and the magnificent Gleneagles resort and the Queen’s from August 24-25.

October sees rising hopefuls of the LET Access Series compete in the WPGA International Challenge at Stoke by Nayland with the 54-hole tournament staged from 6-8 of that month.

Later in that month The Belfry’s PGA National course is the scene of battle for the hotly contested PGA England & Wales Inter County Championship with the 36-hole event played on October 18-19.

December marks the end of the season when leading players from across the seven PGA regions plus the top two from the PGA Professional Championship and the PGA Assistants’ Championship winner battle it out for supremacy in the PGA Play-Offs at Turkey’s Antalya Golf Club from December 2-5.

At stake for the top 10 eligible players is a place at the BMW PGA Championship in 2017 while the top three eligible will qualify for the 2017 Great Britain & Ireland PGA Cup team.

Ben Groutage, The PGA’s head of tournaments, commented: “Once again we have strived to compile a tournament schedule that appeals across the membership.

“We are committed to improving the quality of our Championships every year and the addition of venues such as The Oxfordshire, Gleneagles and Little Aston is testament to that and we look forward to another successful tournament season.”

Details of the PGA National Pro-Am and PGA Pro-Captain Challenge along with entry packs will be released shortly.

MAY

11 – 13  Senior PGA Professional Championship (Foxhills)

JULY

5 – 6 Welsh National PGA Championship (Tenby); 26 – 29 Titleist & FootJoy PGA Professional Championship (The Oxfordshire).

AUGUST

3 – 5 Galvin Green PGA Assistants’ Championship (Little Aston); 17 – 19 Golfbreaks.com PGA Fourball Championship (Carden Park); 24 –25 PGA Super 60s Championship (Gleneagles).

OCTOBER

6 – 8 WPGA International Challenge (Stoke by Nayland);  18 – 19 PGA England & Wales Inter County Championship  (The Belfry).

DECEMBER

2 – 5 PGA Play-Offs (Antalya).

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