Changes unveiled for team qualification


A new selection process has been unveiled for the Great Britain and Ireland PGA Cup team to face the United States.

The prestigious biennial contest pits leading PGA professionals from this side of the Atlantic against their American counterparts.

The changes to qualification will see the 10-man team comprise the leading six point scorers over two years at the flagship Glenmuir PGA Professional Championship, the top three finishers at the Titleist PGA Play-Offs in the year prior to the PGA Cup and a final captain's pick.

Previously the side was determined solely by the PGA Professional Championship event across two years.

PGA chief executive Sandy Jones believes the new selection criteria will give more members the opportunity to qualify for the event and strengthen the team.

"The amendments to the selection process are about ensuring all our fully qualified members who play competitive golf have the opportunity to compete in the PGA Cup matches and represent Great Britain and Ireland," he said.

"It is important to ensure we have our best players available and the advent of the PGA Play-Offs in recent years gives us a second gateway to qualification and achieving that aim.

"As does the decision to reinstate the captain's pick. This was used in previous matches and gives the captain the chance to include a player of his choice who he feels can add value to those who have already earned qualification."

The PGA Cup features a Ryder Cup match play format with foursomes, fourballs and singles played over three days.

First staged at the legendary Pinehurst resort in 1973, the PGA Cup has become a pinnacle of achievement for PGA professionals.

Among the players to have played in the competition is former Open champion Max Faulkner, Brian Barnes and Brian Waites who played in the PGA Cup before going on to represent Europe in the Ryder Cup. More recent players include Kedleston Park's Paul Wesselingh who made six successive appearances from 1998-2009 while Russell Weir and David Huish are joint record appearance holders with eight each.

Past captains include Christy O'Connor Snr and Tommy Horton.

America is the current holder of the Llandudno Trophy having retained it at CordeValle, California, in September 2011 - a third straight win for the US.

The 26th staging of the PGA Cup will take place in 2013 at De Vere Slaley Hall in Northumberland from September 20-22.

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