The Sports Council for Wales is celebrating a sensational 12 months for Welsh golf in which an unprecedented number of the nation’s golfers booked tour cards. In 2005, 13 Welsh golfers will play on the European Tours and two of them, Phil Price and Becky Morgan, are also able to play at the highest level in the United States.
This record-breaking number of touring golfers makes Wales second only to Sweden in the European ranking of tour professionals per head of population.
The Sports Council is particularly pleased that 11 of the 13 players are either current or past numbers of à‰lite Cymru – the lottery funded programme for talented sportsmen and women in Wales.
Sports Council for Wales chief executive Huw Jones said, “This is obviously great news for Welsh golf. We have more golfers than ever before excelling at the very highest level. We believe that through the à‰lite Cymru programme, we have been able to make a little difference.
“We‘re also keen to pay tribute to the work of the two governing bodies in Wales – the WGU and the WLGU – as all of these players have been nurtured through the amateur ranks. The level of success demonstrates that Wales is driving forward in the run up to the 2010 Ryder Cup.”
Rob Holt, manager of Ryder Cup Wales, said, “This is a fantastic achievement by the players themselves and for Welsh golf. The increase in players on the Tour is mirrored by the increase in top class tournaments in Wales for the leading players to enter – the 2005 ‘Wales Summer of Golf‘ will include nine events across Wales.
“The future is also looking promising with additional support for golf at all levels. The increased number of tournaments and further investment in golf are a direct result of the successful Ryder Cup bid and are part of the long term benefits of bringing the 2010 event to Wales.”
The Sports Council has selected 14 golfers – eight amateurs and six professionals – who will receive funding and support from the lottery-funded à‰lite Cymru programme in 2005.
Sports Council For Wales www.sports-council-wales.co.uk
The 2005 à‰lite Cymru golf team are:
Anna Highgate (Southerndown)
Kate Phillips (Creigiau)
Eleanor Pilgrim (St Pierre)
Kyron Sullivan (Vale of Glamorgan)
Stuart Manley (Mountain Ash)
Craig Williams (Vale of Glamorgan)
Rhys Davies (Porthcawl)
Stephanie Evans (Vale of Llangollen)
Nigel Edwards (Whitchurch)
Zac Gould (Vale of Glamorgan)
Sarah Jones (Pennard)
Craig Smith (St Mellons)
James Williams (Pontypridd)
Gareth Wright (West Linton)