14 Nov 17
Ten pairs comprising a PGA pro and his club captain will be competing in this month’s popular SkyCaddie PGA Pro-Captain Challenge grand final when it is staged in Africa for the first time.
ABOUT THE EVENT
The final of the SkyCaddie PGA Pro-Captain Challenge will be the culmination of a competition that has been contested by almost 500 pairs at 10 venues across the UK and Ireland.
Ten pairs from those qualifiers, each comprising a PGA Professional and his club captain, will vie for a slice of the £22,000 put up by title sponsors and PGA Partners SkyCaddie and associate sponsors Golfplan.
The 36-hole tournament will follow a four-ball Stableford format with each amateur playing off his full handicap over the Gary Player-designed course at the Mazagan Beach Resort, Morocco.
The winners will receive £5,000 and the duos finishing second and third will go home with £3,200 and £2,600 respectively.
David Wilton will be hoping to turn back the clock and claim his second PGA Pro-Captain Challenge title at the Mazagan Beach Resort.
The 49-year-old head PGA Professional at Muswell Hill Golf Club in north London, and his then captain, Bill Carey, won the competition when it was staged at Bahrain’s Riffa Golf and Country Club in 2006.
Now 11 years on, Wilton is bidding to join fellow pros Brian Rimmer and Ian Walley in winning the event at least twice. Walley, victorious last year with Kedleston Park captain Richard Smith, has actually won the competition three times - once representing Shirland and twice with Kedleston Park.
This time around Wilton will be partnered by Phil Matthews. “I’ve got a good record in this competition and it’s an event that means a lot to me as a club pro who’s not going to play on Tour now,” said Wilton.
“I play in it every year because I know what the prize is and how well it’s organised.”
One other well-known participant is former European Tour player and PGA Cup-winning vice-captain Cameron Clark.
The 43-year-old head PGA pro at Moor Hall Golf Club, Sutton Coldfield, helped guide Great Britain & Ireland to an emphatic 16-10 victory over America at Foxhills Club & Resort in September and will be looking to finish an already memorable 2017 season on a high.
Leigh Golf Club’s Andrew Baguley also knows all about the PGA Cup having played in the event twice in 1994 and 2005.
At 54, Baguley is the oldest competitor in this year’s event and will be hoping to claim the biggest win of his career in tandem with club captain John Taylor.
The 5-star Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort, located in El Jadida near Casablanca, will host the PGA Pro-Captain Challenge grand final for the first time in the event’s history.
It is home to the country’s largest casino, boasts a wide variety of restaurants and its golf academy is considered to be one of the best equipped in Africa.
The 72-par Mazagan Golf Course designed by nine-time major champion Gary Player boasts superb views of the Atlantic Ocean and its topography complements its coastal location and makes use of the natural sand dunes.
Commenting on staging the grand final, Bouchra El Youssi, Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort’s director of sales and marketing, said: “We are particularly excited to show our exceptional Gary Player-designed golf course to these professional players and let them discover its high potential.
“It’s an excellent opportunity for Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort to welcome this golf tournament and therefore associate the Mazagan golf course with the prestigious PGA organisation.”
The PGA Pro-Captain Challenge has become one of the Association’s most popular tournaments since it was first contested in 1993.
Ged Furey, head PGA Professional at Pleasington Golf Club, and Brian Marsden were the inaugural winners at Wentworth. The next five tournaments were staged there and then, after a five-year hiatus, the final moved to Bahrain.
Subsequent finals have been played in Bahrain, Turkey’s Antalya Golf Club, and last year at Spain’s Lumine Beach.