NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE PGA IN SCOTLAND
PGA in Scotland officials are looking forward to the 2012 season with great optimism, with the unveiling of a schedule which promises to be busier than ever.
After an absence of over a decade, the return of a three-day Pro-Am to the diary will ensure a glittering finale to the 2012 Scottish golf season. To be staged over three magnificent links courses in Nairn, Royal Dornoch and Castle Stuart, respectively host clubs of The Curtis Cup, The Scottish Amateur Championship and The Scottish Open in 2012, from October 1-3, the “Tomatin Single Malt 54 Hole Pro-Am” has proved enormously popular, with almost all the team spaces being snapped up in a matter of weeks.
The Professional Prize-fund for the event will top the £50,000 mark, with around £7,000 being earmarked for the winner of the individual event.
The PGA have also reached an agreement to administer the Optical Express Pro Golf Tour, which has been running for the past couple of years, and will now form a significant part of the PGA’s season.
The national championship, the Gleneagles Scottish PGA Championship will again be staged over the Kings Course, but now has a mid-season date (July 23-26) rather than being held in October as has been the case for the past couple of years. The field for 2012 will be 66, as has been the case for the past two years.
Two major events are destined for the North-East, with Meldrum House hosting the Aberdeen Asset Northern Open for a third successive year (August 28-30) and the £25,000 Paul Lawrie Invitational 54-hole tournament, which will be staged at Deeside in September (18-20) – moving from June to fit in with Paul’s schedule – after its successful inaugural year in 2011.
In addition to the Scottish PGA Championship and the Northern Open, eight other events will make up the 2012 Order of Merit schedule. These will consist of the six Optical Express Tournaments and 36-hole pro-ams at Dumfries and Deer Park.
Trainees and Young Professionals will have a minimum of five events in their Order of Merit, with the inclusion of a new 36 hole tournament at Deer Park on May 21-22, supported by Skycaddie. The Scottish Young Professionals Championship returning to West Lothian for a third year between September 11 and 13, 54 hole events at Craigielaw (August 2-3) and Shotts (August 19-20) and a season ending 36-hole tournament at Royal Dornoch on September 23-24).
Commenting on the season ahead, PGA in Scotland Secretary Michael MacDougall (pictured) acknowledged that after a couple of tough years, the future for Scottish professional golfers was looking much brighter:
“We are absolutely delighted to have new sponsors on board for the season ahead. There’s no doubt that things haven’t been easy, but with companies such as Tomatin and Optical Express committing to working alongside us, we have every reason to be optimistic about the future.
“Obviously, new events are always eye-catching, and while we expected the 54 hole pro-am to be a success, I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised at how quickly the teams sold.
"We have been exploring the possibility of reviving the three-day event for a couple of years, but working in conjunction with Fraser Cromarty, the Sales and Marketing Director at Castle Stuart, who has been heavily involved from the outset, it looks set to be a tremendous success.
“We are also extremely grateful to Gleneagles, sponsors of the national championship for their co-operation in finding space in their calendar for the event to move closer to the middle of the season.”
“Our pro-am season is, as always, exceptionally busy. This year we are particularly pleased to have secured new events at The Renaissance Club in East Lothian and Turnberry’s Ailsa course. We also welcome back to our schedule pro-ams at Duff House Royal, Kirkhill and Auchterarder, all of which staged an event in 2010, but didn’t do so last year.”