Centennial Scottish PGA Championship crowns 2016 Tartan Tour
Story published at 9:13, Thursday, January 21st, 2016
The 100th staging of the Scottish PGA Championship will be the final event on the 2016 Tartan Tour schedule. The milestone tournament will bring down the curtain on this season’s fixture list when it is played over the King’s Course at Gleneagles on October 17-20. With qualifying being held at Crieff on August 30-31, it will feature a reduced field of 66 players and carry a prize-fund of around £40,000.
“We are delighted that the 100th Scottish PGA Championship will be staged at Gleneagles, which has been the event’s home since 1999,” said PGA in Scotland secretary Shona Malcolm. “We will be trying to do something to commemorate the event reaching this milestone and hopefully that will involve a few of the winners from yesteryear.”
Chris Kelly won the circuit’s flagship event in 2015, beating Paul McKechnie at the first extra hole in a sudden-death play-off at the Perthshire venue.
Kelly, last year’s Order of Merit winner, will also be the defending champion when the Northern Open is staged at Royal Dornoch for the first time since 1994. Taking place on June 21-24, it will be part of celebrations to mark 400 years of golf at the renowned Sutherland venue.
The 2016 Order of Merit title race gets underway in East Lothian, where the P&H Championship takes place at The Renaissance for the second year running on May 23-25.
The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Qualifier at Moray on July 2-3 is the next counting event after the Northern Open, while points will again be on offer in both the Deer Park Masters on August 2-3 and the Kerr Investments Pro-Am at Dumfries & Galloway on August 27-28.
The title race will then come to a conclusion at the Scottish PGA Championship at Gleneagles.
A new addition to the schedule is the Gleneagles International Pro-Am, which will be played on the Queen’s, King’s and PGA Centenary Courses on July 5-7.
Other notable events on the fixture list include the Paul Lawrie Invitational at Deeside on September 6-8, the Carnegie Invitational at Skibo Castle on September 13-14 and the Highland Golf Links Pro-Am at Nairn, Royal Dornoch and Castle Stuart on September 26-28.
The schedule also contains more than 30 one-day pro-ams as well as a winter fourball series consisting of nine events.
For the seventh season in a row, the Scottish Young Professionals’ Championship will be played at West Lothian on August 22-24.
“We are keen to capitalise on all the tournaments we already have and support them in the proper way,” added Malcolm, who took over the PGA in Scotland reins last year. “Part of our aspirations for the future, however, is to explore new playing opportunities for the 100 or so members who regularly compete, while improving engagement with the remainder of our 650 members who don’t tend to play on the Tartan Tour.
The 2016 schedule doesn’t include any Ladies’ Tartan Tour events after a decision was taken to drop them based on participation figures.
“While the loss of the Ladies’ Tartan Tour is disappointing, the decision was not made lightly. “Over five events last year, PGA professionals made just 16 appearances in total and not all of them were Scottish,” revealed Malcolm. “The concept was good but it just didn’t take off practically and, with no gender discrimination in the PGA, all members are entitled to play in the events on the main schedule.”
2016 Order of Merit events
May 23-25 P&H Championship, The Renaissance
June 21-24 Northern Open, Royal Dornoch
July 2-3 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Qualifier, Moray
Aug 2-3 Deer Park Masters
Aug 27-28 Kerr Investments Pro-Am, Dumfries & Galloway
Oct 17-20 Gleneagles Scottish PGA Championship, King’s Course
Other main events
July 5-7 Gleneagles International Pro-Am, Queen’s, King’s & PGA Centenary Courses
Aug 22-24 Scottish Young Professionals’ Championship, West Lothian
Sept 6-8 Paul Lawrie Invitational, Deeside
Sept 13-14 Carnegie Invitational, Skibo Castle
Sept 18-19 Sandy Pipey Masters, Royal Dornoch
Sept 26-28 Highland Golf Links Pro-Am, Nairn, Royal Dornoch & Castle Stuart
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