Ryder Cup-winning captain Sam Torrance will be among the star names teeing up at this year’s ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship at Close House.
It signals a return to the tournament for Torrance, who is seeking to win the title for a third time after capturing it in 2005 and 2006.
The 61-year-old Scot, who has won 11 Senior and 21 European Tour titles during a glittering career, will be one of the players to watch at the four-day championship, which is being staged at the highly-rated Close House, near Newcastle, between June 11-14.
The Championship, which boasts a £260,000 prize fund, will be played over the 6,813-yard par-71 Lee Westwood Colt course, ranked in the UKs top 100 courses by Golf Monthly, which was designed as a tribute to iconic English golf course architect Harry Colt.
Torrance, who has also carved out a successful off-course career as golf pundit, said: “The PGA Championship is one of our biggest events on the schedule so I look forward to playing in it.
“It’s a new venue which comes very highly rated and it would be great to win the title for a third time at a third venue.”
Close House, which has agreed to stage the tournament for three years, is looking forward to hosting the prestigious event.
“To stage a top-ranking tournament of this magnitude for the first time confirms an exciting period in our development and is testament to everyone connected with Close House and shows how far we have come since opening less than four years ago,” said owner Graham Wylie.
“The decision to stage the championship here at Close House gives us an excellent opportunity to showcase our facilities and will allow golf fans in the Newcastle area an exclusive opportunity to see top class professional golf at close quarters.
“We have already had 12,000 golf fans register for tickets, which are complimentary, and we are looking forward to hosting them as well as welcoming all the leading European Senior Tour players to the north east.”
ISPS Handa will be sponsoring the championship for a fourth successive year as it continues its mission to promote opportunities for blind and disabled golfers.
Tokyo-based ISPS revealed its commitment by establishing, along with The PGA, an academy programme to train PGA Professionals to coach blind and disabled golfers.
“ISPS continues to promote disabled golf and we are delighted to sponsor the PGA Seniors Championship once again, to help raise its profile and also to be taking the tournament to Close House for the first time,” said Dr Haruhisa Handa whose ambition is to make golf an Paralympic sport.
“Through our relationship with the PGA, we have been able to establish the ISPS Handa PGA Academy Programme which gives blind and disabled golfers greater access to specialised coaching and I thank the PGA for their great efforts.
“It is through involvement with high profile tournaments such as the PGA Seniors Championship that we are able to spread the message about disabled golf. At Close House, we will enjoy the fantastic venue and we look forward to seeing the best players on the European Senior Tour test their skills over the Lee Westwood Colt Course.”
The championship, which is the longest-running event on the European Senior Tour, will be defended by Santiago Luna. To register for tickets go to www.closehouse.com/pgaseniors
Visit www.PGA.info for the latest information and scores throughout the season