European Seniors looking forward to returning to the Gainsborough
THE Seniors PGA Championship, to be held at Stoke by Nayland on June 5-8, was first established in 1957 and became an integral part of the European Senior Tour in 1992.
There have been some remarkable tournaments since John Burton won the inaugural event, perhaps none more so thasn in 2008 when Gordon J Brand required a six-hole playoff to beat Gordon Brand.
Some of the greatest names in golf have won this tournament - Kel Nagle won it three times, Max Faulkner won it twice, John Panton twice, Christy O'Connor six times, Neil Coles four times, Tommy Horton twice, Carl Mason three times, Sam Torrance twice, Paul Wesselingh twice and the legendary Peter Thomson won in 1988.
Wesselingh was rookie of the year when he won it in 2012 and successfully defended the title last year on the way to winning the Order of Merit. Coles is the only man to have won it three times on the trot (1985,86 nd 87), and Wesselingh will be a warm favourite to emulate the feat.
The tournament has already been played twice at Stoke by Nayland's Gainsborough course. In 2006 it was won by Sam Torrance, and Mason won it the following year.
For mere mortals, the Gainsbrough is a tough test, but Mason and Torrance produced four-round totals of 268, which is remarkable 20 under par.
Both players are expected to be back this year, seeking to reproduce that sort of form. Mason has won more European Senior Tour events than other golfer and Torrance, a former Ryder Cup player who captained Europe to victory at The Belfry in 2002, remains a firm crowd favourite, still capable of producing some stunning golf.
Stoke by Nayland is now a regular stop on the European Senior Tour, and a favourite with the players.
The Seniors PGA Championship will be preceded on Wednesday 4th June by a Pro-Am and Gala Dinner and there is a chance to play alongside one of the world's best senior golfers! Team places are limited so best to book early by contacting Mary Saward at Stoke by Nayland on 01206 265827 or email [email protected].
There has been a great deal of work carried out at the venue in recent years. New holiday lodges have been built, the driving range is being extended, the hotel boasts some of the best rooms in the area, and there is also a state-of-the-art spa and fitness centre
Roly Hitchcock, the Golf Manager, said: “I know that the guys love the Gainsborough course and I can assure them that it will be in outstanding condition for the Senior PGA Championship. We look forward to welcoming back regulars who have been here to watch tournaments before and also to seeing those who will be heading here for the first time.”As we countdown to the tournament, Roly will be providing a hole by hole guide to the course.The tournament will be televised by Sky Sports, and, as you would expect for the most prestigious golf tournament to be held in East Anglia in 2014, there will be plenty of advertising and sponsorship opportunities on offer. These include main title sponsorship, co-sponsorship packages, and daily hospitality packages for groups or individuals.
There will be a tented village and many more attractions – details will be released as they are confirmed.
Keep up to date with all the news, as well as checking out what Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf Club and Spa has to offer at www.stokebynayland.com
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