11 Sep 17
Great Britain & Ireland will be hoping to make history next week as they look to claim back-to-back victories over America in the 28th PGA Cup meeting at Foxhills Resort in Surrey.
Albert MacKenzie will lead a ten-man team against their American counterparts in a Ryder Cup style team event which runs from September 15-17.
The team includes no fewer than eight former European Tour players.
Greig Hutcheon, Matthew Cort and Robert Coles had already booked their places in the team after finishing in the top three at the PGA Play-Offs back in October last year.
Following on from the conclusion of the PGA Professional Championship they have now been joined by Christopher Currie, Phillip Archer, Christopher McDonnell, Garry Houston, Andrew Raitt, David Higgins and Damien McGrane.
MacKenzie knows what it takes to beat the Americans having served as a vice-captain two years ago when Great Britain & Ireland won in America for the first time at CordeValle, California.
“I was beyond privileged to be asked to represent our wonderful Association as captain of the 2017 PGA Cup team,” said MacKenzie.
“Being at CordeValle was a great insight for me. Captain Jon Bevan 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.”
Another man who knows how to beat the Americans having been part of the winning team in 2015 is vice-captain Cameron Clark.
The 43-year-old will be passing on his previous experience in the competition and is determined to be party to more American woe at Foxhills.
“Winning in America was the best experience of my life from a golfing point of view,” said Clarke, who is Head Professional at Moor Hall Golf Club.
“I’ve said to a couple of the boys that we made history there, and now they’ve got to make history to retain the trophy after winning it in the States.
“I think enjoyment is the key to it. Play hard but just get out there and play fine.”
MacKenzie will also be calling on the experience of Martyn Thompson, who is serving as vice-captain again for the Great Britain & Ireland team for a second consecutive PGA Cup.
The 47-year-old helped mastermind Great Britain & Ireland’s famous win in America two years ago, and he believes he’ll have a big role to play again this time around.
He added: “If you can’t play in something, to be part of the backroom staff and to have an influence into what goes on is a huge honour.
“Albert (MacKenzie) and I have been good friends for a long time. We’re very close and this has brought us closer.
“Part of what we do is bring the team together and that’s very important. We can’t take shots for them but we can help pull it all together.
“The PGA Cup has been at the forefront of our mind all the time. It’s what this year has been all about and we have to do a job and retain the PGA Cup because it’s such a big thing for all of us.”
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)