PGA pros have a chance to emulate golf greats such as Seve Ballesteros and Sir Nick Faldo when they tee up in this year’s Golfbreaks.com PGA Fourball Championship supported by BMW at St Mellion.
The final of the popular fourball tournament is being staged on the Jack Nicklaus signature course at the Cornish resort – scene of several European Tour events in its 26 year history with a list of illustrious winners.
Among those is Ballesteros who defeated Faldo by three strokes in 1994 while the Englishman twice tasted success with Sandy Lyle in the St Mellion Trophy in the late 80s.
Sixty pairs of PGA pros will go head-to-head in the 54-hole final which will take place from August 20-22 and has a total prize fund of £35,000.
This is the first time the PGA has staged a national final at St Mellion since the venue hosted the 1978 PGA Cup and PGA chief executive Sandy Jones is delighted to be returning.
“The Jack Nicklaus signature course has earned a reputation as one of the most exciting tests of golf in the UK and I know our PGA Members will relish the prospect of showcasing their skills,” he said.
“The fourball format is always popular and thanks to St Mellion and our sponsors Golfbreaks.com I know many will take the opportunity to renew old partnerships and take part.”
And competition to reach the event will be hot with more than 550 pros competing in seven regional qualifiers across the UK.
But already sure of a place at St Mellion are defending champions Jason Levermore (Channels) and Andrew Pestell (Chelmsford) who will be seeking an unprecedented third fourball title.
David Moon, St Mellion’s director of golf, said: “We staged the PGA Cup in the late 70s and we’ve been privileged to host 12 European Tour events and the English Amateur so it’s nice for us to welcome the PGA back for the first since the £20million refurbishment was completed in 2009.
“The Jack Nicklaus course is virtually untouched and has stood the test of time since. It’s not the longest but certainly from a golfing perspective it has everything.”
Moon has identified the fifth, 11th and 12th as its stand out holes with Nicklaus’ homage to Augusta National’s Amen Corner – the Georgia gem where he won six US Masters.
“Holes 10, 11, 12 and 13 were Nicklaus doffing his cap to Augusta’s Amen Corner and it is a phenomenal run of holes,” he added.
“The par three 11th is a cross between Augusta’s 12 and 16 while the 12th is arguably one of the greatest par five holes anywhere in the world with an avenue of trees and a creek running down the side and across the front of the green.”
Moon is celebrating his 20th year at the resort where he started as head PGA professional and his favourite memory remains Ballesteros’s victory in 1994 – his last on British soil.
“I’ve been to two Ryder Cups but the atmosphere on the last day was better than both,” he said. “I’ve never seen so many people willing someone to win.”
The first of the regional qualifiers will be staged on June 16 at Bush Hill Park with the remainder taking place at Swindon, Filton, Musselburgh, Headfort and Woodcote Park with the last one at Woodsome Hall on July 31.
Steve Hemsworth, managing director of Golfbreaks.com, commented: “The 2013 PGA Fourball Championship was a great success and we are already looking forward to this season’s finale taking place at the superb St Mellion resort.
“It is a hugely popular venue with Golfbreaks.com customers and is a fitting venue for what will no doubt be another excellent tournament for the country’s leading professionals who are sure to appreciate the excellent facilities and superb golf course.”
Visit http://www.pga.info/tournaments/national/pga-fourball-championship.aspx for more information on the Golfbreaks.com PGA Fourball Championship
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