Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn will receive the PGA Recognition Award for his outstanding contribution to the game during the PGA’s annual fundraising lunch in December.
Bjorn, who will lead Europe’s bid to regain the Ryder Cup in France next September, will be the guest of honour at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Friday December 15.
The 46-year-old Dane follows in the footsteps of some of golf’s most famous players to have been recipients of the award, including Seve Ballesteros, Sir Nick Faldo, Ian Poulter and Darren Clarke, his predecessor as Ryder Cup captain.
Ballesteros was captain when Bjorn made the first of his three Ryder Cup appearances in 1997. Europe won that match at Valderrama, as they did in the other two in which Bjorn played – at The Belfry in 2002 and Gleneagles 12 years later.
Bjorn, who has won 15 European Tour events, will talk about his career and give an insight into his thoughts ahead of the meeting with the USA at Le Golf National near Paris.
The lunch will be hosted by Sandy Jones, the PGA executive president who was the Association’s chief executive for 25 years prior to his retirement in March.
Commenting on Bjorn’s presence as guest of honour, Jones said: “We’re delighted Thomas Bjorn will be joining us, especially as he’s the current Ryder Cup captain. His award is well-deserved as he has a wealth of experience as a player, Ryder Cup star and chairman of the Tour Players’ Committee. I’ve no doubt he will be both interesting and entertaining.”
In addition to Bjorn, highly-rated comedian Ben Norris and Dougie Donnelly will entertain the 1,000 plus guests. Norris has appeared on television programmes such as ‘Mock the Week’ and ‘Never Mind the Buzzcocks’; Donnelly is a former BBC sports reporter who headed up the Corporation’s golf coverage for many years.
While Bjorn takes centre stage in London, two other PGA lunches are taking place in December.
Mark James, who played in no fewer than seven Ryder Cups between 1977 and 1995, will speak along with comedian Ian Moore at the Midland Hotel, Manchester, on December 1. And four-time European Ryder Cup player Eamon Darcy is the guest of honour at the Hilton Hotel, Glasgow, on December 13.
As always, the lunches will raise money for the PGA Benevolent Fund that helps PGA Members who have fallen on difficult times. For more information about the PGA’s annual fundraising lunch in London click here.
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