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Published on : Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Having kicked off the race for qualification for next year’s Ryder Cup in August, the 2014 ISPS HANDA Wales Open will now be the last tournament played before the eagerly-anticipated match between Europe and the USA, which takes place at The Gleneagles Hotel the following week.
With no event scheduled for the PGA Tour in America over the same dates, the tournament will give players on both teams the opportunity to acclimatise to the UK with competitive action, should they desire it, on the course that staged Europe’s last home Ryder Cup in 2010.
European captain Paul McGinley said: “I was pleased to see that the ISPS HANDA Wales Open will be played immediately prior to The Ryder Cup at The Gleneagles Hotel.
“This will give players who wish to prepare for The Ryder Cup by playing in a competitive environment, the perfect opportunity to fine-tune their games on a superb golf course.”
Confirming its 15th consecutive year at the same venue, the ISPS HANDA Wales Open is one of the most established, premier events on The European Tour International Schedule.
With a prize fund of £1.8m, past winners include McGinley and fellow Ryder Cup stars Paul Lawrie, Ian Poulter, Miguel Angel Jiménez, Robert Karlsson and Graeme McDowell, who went on to hole the winning putt in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in 2010.
Frenchman Grégory Bourdy was the latest tournament winner in 2013 when he closed with three successive birdies to see off a strong challenge from American Peter Uihlein.
ISPS Chairman Dr Haruhisa Handa said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the ISPS HANDA Wales Open once again in September 2014 and continuing our relationship with The Celtic Manor Resort. With The Ryder Cup taking place the very next week, this will be a special time for golf.
“At ISPS we are continuing to expand and enhance our blind and disabled golf initiatives, showing that sport has the power to inspire, create hope and transform society. Our ultimate goal is for golf to become a Paralympic sport.”
As well as top-class golfing action, the tournament always offers a great value day out for all the family with a tented village including bar, food outlets, shops selling golf merchandise and opportunities for youngsters to try their hand at golf.