The UK’s leading Professionals will descend on Walton Heath Golf Club this autumn for the 12th staging of the PGA Play-Offs. The historic club is home to two of the finest inland courses in the country, with the 54-hole event being played on the Old Course from October 30 to November 1.
Walton Heath has a rich history of hosting championship tournaments having staged the Ryder Cup 1981, when on that occasion America triumphed 18½-9½. More recently, the Senior Open Championship was also held at the Surrey-based venue six years ago and in 2005 Michael Campbell qualified for the US Open at Walton Heath before famously going on to become only the second qualifier to win the event at Pinehurst Resort.
It is the first time Walton Heath has hosted the PGA Play-Offs and Club Secretary, Stuart Christie, believes the Old Course will provide a stern test for one of the most popular events on the PGA calendar. He said: “We’re delighted to be hosting the PGA Play-Offs at Walton Heath Golf Club. We have a rich tradition of hosting some of the biggest golfing events in the calendar, including the Ryder Cup in 1981 and more recently the US Open regional qualifier, which have been held here annually since 2005.
“It’s a fantastic event in the PGA calendar which brings together the best golfers across the UK and Ireland. With a number of European and Challenge Tour invitations up for grabs, there’s bound to be plenty of high quality golf and competition on show.”
A 24-strong field will descend on Walton Heath next month and will include PGA Professional Champion Paul O’Hara and the runner-up from that same event, Christopher Currie.
Joining them will be Matthew Fieldsend, who was the winner of the PGA Assistants’ Championship at Coxmoor Golf Club at the beginning of August. The other places will be made up of the top three from each of the seven regional order of merits.
Matthew Cort won last year’s PGA Play-Offs with a score of 277, while previous winners include two-time champions Greig Hutcheon and Richard Wallis.
As well as an increased prize fund of £25,000, there will be an added incentive for all 24 players taking part with four spots for the BMW PGA Championship up for grabs, while two places are also available for the British Masters.
Ben Groutage, Head of Tournaments at the PGA, added: “We are delighted to be taking this year’s PGA Play Offs to one of England’s finest golf courses.
“Walton Heath is synonymous with major golf tournaments and, with the players competing for invites into next year’s PGA Championship and British Masters, the course promises to provide the perfect challenge.
“We would like to extend our thanks to Stuart Christie and all at Walton Heath for accommodating us and for their continued support of PGA tournaments.”
PGA News www.PGA.info
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