Albert MacKenzie has been named as the 2017 PGA Cup captain for Great Britain & Ireland’s defence of the Llandudno Trophy in 2017.
The Saunton Golf Club head PGA Professional was a vice captain to Jon Bevan in GB&I’s historic triumph at CordeValle in 2015 which saw them win for the first time on US soil.
MacKenzie is passionate about the biennial contest and several times came close to qualifying for the team as a player – the nearest when he lost out in a play-off for a spot at Woodhall Spa in 2005. He described the invitation to captain the PGA Cup team as the highlight of his competitive professional career.
The Scot takes the reins at a high point for GB&I who staged a magnificent Sunday singles fightback to tie the matches at Slaley Hall in 2013 before going one better with victory in California last year.
“Ever since agonisingly missing out on selection for the team at Carnoustie in 1990, my quest to play some part in the PGA Cup has perpetually energised and driven my tournament golf and has kept me competitive to this day,” he said. “Despite finishing fifth in our PGA Professional Championship in 2004 at Southport & Ainsdale, and seventh at Prince’s in 2006, losing in a play-off to get into the team after the 2005 championship at Woodhall Spa, was, to date, my closest moment.
“The phone call from Jon Bevan in September 2014, offering me the opportunity to be his vice-captain, was emotional to say the least. I did not realise at that juncture that it was going to be the most incredible journey I would become blessed to experience, the build-up too, and the matches at CordeValle, reaching levels I barely knew existed.
“Winning in America was history in the making. I have learned and taken much from CordeValle – the two captains being a shining example to us all. My goal now is to create history once more by successfully defending the PGA Cup after winning in America.
“I am beyond privileged to represent our wonderful Association as Captain of the 2017 PGA Cup team and I will endeavour to ensure that the underside of every stone gets bathed in daylight, in our quest to retain the Llandudno Trophy.”
PGA chief executive Sandy Jones added: “Albert is hugely passionate about the PGA Cup as many of our captains have been over the history of the matches.
“Since we amended the qualifying process for the team, the last two matches have proved to be exciting down to the wire with us halving one and succeeding with the final putt at CordeValle giving us our first ever victory in America.
“Jon Bevan made history as the first captain to succeed in America, setting the bar at a high level and I know that Albert who was Jon’s vice-captain, will take inspiration from that experience and have total desire and focus to successfully retain the Llandudno Trophy.”