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England and Wales (North) Region

Manchester hosts top PGA North event

15 Jun 18

Grant Hamerton

The Manchester Open returns after a three-year absence next week and, appropriately, will be played at the host club.

Regional manager Jonathan Paine said: "It's an historic event and we're delighted to return it to our schedule as an order of merit fixture.

Hopefully, we will secure a title sponsorship next season.

"Manchester is a challenging course which will prove a formidable test. It's a championship venue we've not visited for a long time."  

More than 100 professionals are in a field containing seven past champions including Jonathan Cheetham, David Smith, Chris Sands, Aran Wainwright, David Shacklady, Alex Belt and Grant Hamerton, the current holder.

The tournament, instigated in 2002 when it was won by Garry Houston, will open with a curtain-raising pro-am on Wednesday, June 20, with 18 holes on each of the ensuing two days.

Meanwhile, Paine revealed that he is working on a more structured regional calendar which will be available next year.

"We have four order of merit events this season and we will hopefully increase it to five. We are also keen to run one on the North East as we did in the past.

"Another of our intensions is to try attract players who have not competed as often as they used to back in the day. Hopefully, with bigger fields, more sponsors will get involved."

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