It promises to be an exciting weekend for Great Britain & Ireland PGA Cup captain Jon Bevan who will see his 2015 team take shape following the Titleist PGA Play-Offs in Turkey.
The top three eligible finishers in the 54-hole tournament at Antalya Golf Club, which begins on Saturday, will automatically take the first spots in Bevan’s team to face the United States at CordeValle, California next September.
And Bevan, a teaching pro at Rhos-on-Sea in north Wales and a two-time PGA Cup player, is confident that whoever qualifies from the play-offs will be an asset to his quest to become the first captain to win on US soil since the event’s inception in 1973.
“You only have to look at the profiles of the players in the PGA Play-Offs and their statistics and they stack up fantastically well against anybody in terms of performance plus there are a few guys with previous PGA Cup experience which is invaluable,” he said.
“I hope the guys who have played PGA Cup can pass on some of their experiences of playing in it because I want the players to realise just how big an event it is. It will be the biggest thing they are going to play in 2015.
“There are no weaknesses in that list of players in the play-offs but equally there won’t be any weaknesses in the other seven players when it’s their turn to make the team.”
Among the players with PGA Cup experience in action in Antalya are Greig Hutcheon, Graham Fox and Benn Barham who played in the 2013 team which tied at Slaley Hall while Richard Dinsdale was part of the victorious 2005 team that won at The K Club.
The remainder of Bevan’s ten-man team will be determined at the 2015 PGA Professional Championship with one captain’s pick at his disposal.
Bevan’s passion for the biennial contest was stirred in his debut appearance at Reynolds Plantation, Georgia, in 2007 and he is determined to spread the message to all his fellow pros.
“We had a get together in 2007 ahead of our matches and I really got the buzz of what it was all about. There were a couple of other players with massive experience like Paul Wesselingh so from July to September the PGA Cup became paramount in my thinking.
“I want all the guys to embrace the PGA Cup experience. The more people are using it as an incentive to improve their preparation and practice, to give that extra inch and go the extra mile the better – I want it to fuel their passion and enthusiasm.”
America has dominated on home soil having never tasted defeat in the PGA Cup but Bevan has always enjoyed beating the odds and is determined to ensure his team is primed for the challenge ahead.
“I don’t think there is a difference on a talent scale between GB&I and US but there is a massive difference in attitude scale,” he added.
“The Americans believe they are going to beat us. I’ve been used to that all my life and love that battle as the underdog but some guys won’t have faced that attitude and I want to get them ready for that.
“I’m excited but calm. Every day I wake up the PGA Cup is the top of my thoughts, I’m already planning. You would not believe how many chapters I have already written on various things. I’ve got quotes from Ryder Cup guys, things that Graeme McDowell has written about how Paul McGinley did certain things in terms of attention to detail, attitude and inspirational quotes around to inspire the team.
“I’m very calm but massively excited, I’ve played in Opens and a few PGA Championships but the PGA Cup was arguably the biggest thing I played in and I want the guys who qualify to realise the same.”
For more information about the PGA Cup visit: http://www.pga.info/tournaments/national/pga-cup.aspx