A place in next year’s English Open will provide an extra incentive for the combatants of the inaugural Business Fort English PGA Championship in association with Cobra and 59club. The PGA’s newest addition to the tournament schedule will also be played at one of the country’s most famous sporting venues Goodwood.
The 12,000 acre estate of the Earl and Countess of March is world famous as the host of the ‘Glorious Goodwood’ and the Festival of Speed, but now has an additional jewel to its sporting crown with the English PGA Championship.
The 54-hole tournament, which is being played over 22-24 July on the James Braid-designed Downs Course, will immediately precede ‘Glorious Goodwood’.
It promises to have one of the strongest fields of the season with exemptions for last year’s GB&I PGA Cup team, the PGA Assistants’ champion and Senior PGA Professional champion plus the top five from each of the PGA’s seven regional Order of Merits, if they match the eligibility criteria.
In all a field of 144 players will compete for a share of the £30,000 prize fund plus the chance to take on the elite of European Tour at St Mellion next year. There is also the possibility of the winner competing in the European Open in 2011 if the event is staged in England.
A spokesman for the Goodwood estate said: “A new jewel has been added to Goodwood’s sporting crown. England’s leading golfers will contest this inaugural championship in one of the most enchanting settings for tournament golf.
“Goodwood has been at the forefront of international sport for generations through its racecourse and motor racing circuit and is now fast gaining a comparable reputation for the quality of its championship golf.
“A massive investment has produced two outstanding golf courses on the 12,000 acre estate stretching over the breathtaking landscape of the Sussex Downs that has earned the Downs Course a coveted ranking in Golf World magazine’s Top 100.”
Steve Withers, chairman of Business Fort plc, is enthusiastic about the venue and its support for the tournament.
“Upon getting to Goodwood I thought it was unbelievable that a venue of such quality had been kept such a secret,” he said. “It is absolutely amazing and it was equally impressive to see a venue supporting an event with so much enthusiasm. I am sure that once the players get to Goodwood they will see that the venue warrants hosting a national championship.”
Business Fort plc www.thebusinessfort.co.uk
Goodwood Estate www.goodwood.co.uk