The sports management company 110sport has announced details of the inaugural WPGA International Matchplay, to take place at The Gleneagles Hotel from 6th to 9th September. As part of Scotland’s Ryder Cup bid, the Scottish Executive and Bank of Scotland have made a significant investment to secure this tournament for Scotland with the additional support of Gleneagles.
The tournament will have a prize fund of £400,000, with a top prize of £110,000, making it one of the largest purses on the European Tour. The seeded matchplay event will be contested by 32 players and will also carry valuable Solheim Cup points. The unique format of the competition mean that on the final day fans will be able to see twelve matches played. The Solheim Cup team will be reunited.
Players already confirmed to take part include England’s Laura Davies, Trish Johnson and Alison Nicholas; Scotland’s Solheim Cup captain Dale Reid and France’s Patricia Meunier-Lebouc. Also confirmed are Scotland and 110sport’s golfers Catriona Matthew, Kathryn Marshall and Lesley Nicholson. Further invitations have been sent to LET players including Sweden’s Sophie Gustafson, Helen Alfredsson and Carin Koch and Scotland’s Janice Moodie as well as a number of LPGA players.
The event will be covered live on BBC Scotland and CNBC Sports, with highlights also being shown on Sky TV and an edited highlights package to over 30 countries.
The tournament will also be the first time that the women’s tour will have played on the newly renamed PGA Centenary Course (Monarchs) at Gleneagles.
George Smith CEO at 110sport said, “We are all naturally delighted to be staging this new event. 110sport are committed to making sport more interactive and interesting for the consumer and the unique format of thistournament, which allows them to watch six games of quality matchplay on the final day, is testament to that.
Tim Howland, chief executive of the Evian Ladies European Tour said “The tour is delighted that 110sport, a major backer of the Tour, is staging this unique matchplay event at the legendary Gleneagles resort. We are also grateful for the support of Scotland’s Ryder Cup bid. It is also a major bonus to have live BBC coverage of the event, all of which helps to continue to build the profile and exposure of Ladies golf.”
Allan Wilson, Deputy Minister Sport and Culture said, “It is wonderful for Scotland and one of our Ryder Cup venues, Gleneagles, to be staging such a prestigious and unique golf tournament. In our Ryder Cup bid, we have made a commitment to supporting women’s golf through sports development and tournament golf. By 2009 every girl will be introduced to golf by the time they are 9 years old and hosting this prestigious tournament demonstrates our commitment to top class women’s golf.”
“Bank of Scotland is pleased to be supporting the inaugural WPGA International Matchplay,” said Peter Burt, group chief executive. “Our involvement in this tournament underlines both the Bank’s commitment to supporting golf and to bringing the Ryder Cup to Scotland in 2009.”
Peter Lederer, managing director of The Gleneagles Hotel commented, ” I am delighted to reinforce our commitment to the development of championship golf at Gleneagles and welcome our partners and this new and exciting tournament to The PGA Centenary Course. Gleneagles has a long history of hosting WPGA championships and I am confident that golf enthusiasts throughout the country will benefit from the opportunity of supporting this fabulous tournament at this international golf venue in September.”
The Gleneagles Hotel www.gleneagles.com
Scotland’s Ryder Cup bid firstname.lastname@example.org or 0131 623 1500