A brand new future has been mapped out for the popular PGA Fourball Championship after SkyCaddie agreed to take over as title sponsor. It marks a step up for the leading rangefinder manufacturer which has assumed the role of principal sponsor for the next two years having been a support sponsor last year.
This year’s 54-hole SkyCaddie PGA Fourball Championship final, which carries a top prize of £5,000, will again be staged at Yorkshire’s Fulford Golf Club in October, the scene of Matt Morris‘ and Adrian Carey’s victory last year.
PGA chief executive Sandy Jones said, “The fourball format is great for all of our members who enjoy playing competitive golf but may not be at their playing peak because of work commitments. This tournament allows players to come out and get a score with the backing of a partner rather than being exposed on what may turn out to be a ‘bad day at the office‘.
“Instead, this is a comfortable format to give those players who don‘t compete on a regular basis an opportunity to play their golf. It is also one which gives our members a rare opportunity to meet up with old friends and play competitive golf with a sense of team spirit.”
Jones is also appreciative of SkyCaddie’s support not only of the tournament but the PGA as a whole.
“We‘re delighted to have such a good relationship with SkyCaddie, whose product we firmly believe is the way forward for golf,” he added. “It’s good to see a sponsor recognise the PGA members and club professionals as a vital conduit to the golfing public.”
SkyCaddie’s UK managing director Jackie Hitchcock expressed her delight at further strengthening their ties with the tournament, which will see rainwear specialists Sunderland adopt support sponsorship.
“SkyCaddie is delighted to be part of such a great championship,” she said “PGA professionals from all over the country support this event and the Fourball Championship is a way for us to show our support to the PGA professional. We look forward to a great tournament.”
Last year’s tournament was significant as it broke new ground as the first PGA national event to sanction the use of rangefinders, which was deemed an overwhelming success in sustaining the pace of play. That success has led to GPS hand-held devices being allowed in all PGA national tournaments this year.
Hitchcock is aware of the impact of rangefinders last year and expects it to increase further this after the initial test run in the PGA Fourball Championship.
“We tested the use of the SkyCaddie in full tournament play at this event in 2007 and the SkyCaddie was well received by all.
“We saw the pace of play improve and at the end of the tournament the pace of play stayed within the time allotted for the event. This is obviously very pleasing to players and the PGA officials running the event.
“The 2008 season will surely be very interesting as more and more professionals embrace the new technology, not only for use in their own play but also as teaching and coaching.”