THE PGA in England and Wales will again feature four top-quality Order of Merit events to decide the leading players in the south west and Wales.

Wessex Golf Centre’s Michael Watson plus Sherborne’s Jon Bevan will be among the field and the venues remain the same for the second successive year as the West Region PGA Championship, the most prestigious and longest-running tournament on the calendar, is again being hosted at the outstanding Players Club, near Bristol, on Tuesday, August 13-14.

An exciting new fixture list reveals several more pro-ams at new ventures. The Manor House at Castle Combe and Fingle Glen in Devon stage regional pro-ams for the first time. Other new venues include Churston, Clevedon, Lilley Brook, Ross-on-Wye, Chippenham and Enmore Park.

The country’s top-rated links courses again feature. The season opens on Tuesday, April 2 with the Asbri Golf Cornish Festival where outstanding championship venues Trevose and St Enodoc again add lustre to the largest pro-am gathering in the country.

Polzeath’s The Point becomes the third venue, while the North Cornwall resort has been extensively developed by Jeremy Davies who has made major improvements to the course, adding accommodation and extensive leisure facilities.

The season closes with the 54-hole North Devon Links Festival at Royal North Devon, the oldest course in the country, and both Saunton championship courses on Monday, September 30.

The Order of Merit opens for the 11th time with the Total Triumph Classic hosted at Oake Manor by former club captain and PGA benefactor Neil Mossman.

Once again amateurs will have a chance to play alongside the leading PGA professionals on the first day in their own strokeplay competition.

The Players Championship, won last year by Order of Merit champion Sion Bebb (Morlais Castle), continues at Cumberwell Park, Wiltshire’s leading golf complex in June and is followed by the Championship which embraces four categories.

Last year, Paul Hendriksen (Ivybridge) won the main award, Jessica Bradley (Saunton) took the women’s title, Lee Corfield (Burnham and Berrow) was assistants’ champion while Bevan and George Ryall (Mendip Spring) shared the senior’s crown.

Everything builds up to the decisive final event at Polzeath where the leading players seek a top three spot in the OOM to qualify for the end-of-season play-offs.

Young professionals under the age of 30 and club assistants will again feature the Sprint League in association with Titleist and FootJoy. The early-season strokeplay event returns to Minehead, Radyr, Cumberwell Park and Weston-super-Mare and will be decided at Tiverton.

Young developing players will be rewarded by an approximate Order of Merit bonus pool of £3,500 and a mini equipment contract with Titleist & FootJoy for the leading five players. The winner receives an additional award from

Robert Moss, the West PGA manager, said: “We have been able to maintain another strong fixture list with excellent additions so can look forward to another busy and successful year.”

Fixtures: Tuesday, April 2-4 Asbri Golf Cornish Festival – Trevose, The Point at Polzeath, St Enodoc; Tuesday 9 Titleist & Footjoy Assts Sprint 1 – Minehead & West Somerset; Monday 15 Titleist & Footjoy Assts Sprint 2 –Radyr; Thursday 25 Titleist & Footjoy Assts Sprint 3 – Weston-super-Mare; Friday, May 3 Minchinhampton (Old); Thursday 9 Titleist & Footjoy Assts Sprint 3 – Cumberwell Park; Thursday 9 Titleist & FootJoy PGA Pros C/Ship West qualifier - Burnham and Berrow; Friday 10 Captain’s Charity - Filton; Thursday 16 Birdietime PGA Asistants Championship West qualifier – Bristol and Clifton; Friday 17 Churston; Thursday 23 Clevedon; Friday 24 Ferndown GC Invitational; Tuesday 28 Manor House, Castle Combe; Thursday 30 English PGA Championship West qualifier-

Minchinhampton; Wednesday, June 5 Cotswold Hills; Thursday 6-7 Total Triumph Classic (OOM1) - Oake Manor; Thursday 13 Titleist & Footjoy Assts Sprint 5 - Tiverton; Friday 14 Vivary Park; Friday 21 Torquay; Tuesday 25 St Mellion; Wednesday 26 Tehidy Park; Friday 28 POBL Group Pro-am Langland Bay; Wednesday, July 3 Bowood.


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