13 Sep 17
Albert MacKenzie is determined to learn from his experience of being a part of a winning team in America by creating history once more and successfully defending the PGA Cup on home turf as captain.
The 56-year-old was vice-captain two years ago at CordeValle, California, when Great Britain & Ireland won for the first time in America.
This time the personable Scotsman will lead the home charge as captain at Foxhills Resort in Surrey in the three-day match which starts on September 15.
MacKenzie has prepared in a similar fashion to his predecessor, Jon Bevan, and has been drawing on all his previous experience as vice-captain in a bid to lead Great Britain & Ireland to back-to-back wins for the first time since 1984.
“I was beyond privileged to be asked to represent our wonderful Association as captain of the 2017 PGA Cup team,” said MacKenzie, who will be assisted in Surrey by vice-captains Martyn Thompson and Cameron Clark.
“Winning in America was history in the making. I have learned and taken much from CordeValle - the two captains being a shining example to us all.
“Being at CordeValle was a great insight for me. Captain Jon and I were in constant dialogue going into that event, putting a template in place that would prove to be successful. We have moved towards the 2017 matches using this proven formula.
“My goal now is to create history once more by successfully defending the PGA Cup after winning in America. I will endeavour to ensure that every minute detail is respectfully scrutinised as we continue with our quest to retain the Llandudno Trophy.”
Greig Hutcheon, Matthew Cort and Robert Coles booked their places in the team after finishing in the top three at the PGA Play-Offs last October.
Then, following the conclusion of the PGA Professional Championship in June, they were joined by Christopher Currie, Phillip Archer, Christopher McDonnell, Garry Houston, Andrew Raitt, David Higgins and Damien McGrane.
“I could not be more pleased with the ten players who have made the PGA Cup team this year,” MacKenzie continued. “I feel we are formidable and robust and we are very prepared.
“We have a team of strength, a team of experience and we’re going to be seriously competitive. I am very confident of our chances of retaining the trophy. I felt this when I left Ireland after our PGA Professional Championship and this was underpinned during our weekend Get Together at Foxhills at the end of July.”
MacKenzie has been seeking advice from many of his peers over the last year since being appointed last August, none more so than Europe’s 2018 Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn.
Denmark’s most successful golfer and his Ryder Cup backroom team met with MacKenzie in May at Wentworth during the BMW PGA Championship, and the Scot asked if there was anything he could pass on from his Ryder Cup experience.
MacKenzie added: “The point that resonated with me was that the team spirit will eventually emanate from the individual prowess displayed by the players.
“They have worked hard within an individual sport, from a very early age, allowing them to be where they are today. It is important not to unpick the stitches of what has contributed to their success.
“Although you want them to bond as a team, part of this unity will be to ensure that they’re still surrounded by their own traits, habits and comforts, which is why they’re successful in the first place. So that was some nice information to have.
“With two weeks to go, I feel as prepared as I could wish to be at this point. We have a strategy in place which has the flexibility for fluid tactics to be implemented if necessary. We are all ready for every challenge that lies ahead."
For more information about the PGA Cup and to follow all the action and live scoring from Foxhills from September 15-17 click here.
2017 Great Britain & Ireland PGA Cup team:
Phillip Archer (Birchwood Golf Club)
Rob Coles (Maylands Golf & Country Club)
Matthew Cort (Beedles Lake Golf Club)
Christopher Currie (Caldwell Golf Club)
David Higgins (Waterville Golf Links)
Garry Houston (Carden Park Golf)
Greig Hutcheon (Paul Lawrie Golf Centre)
Christopher McDonnell (Golf at Goodwood)
Andrew Raitt (St George’s Hill Golf Club)
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