Forward-thinking PGA pro reaps dividends with Gleneagles final appearance



A PGA pro who put his money where his mouth is in backing his club's participation in The Lombard Trophy will savour his reward next month when he competes in the grand final at Gleneagles.

Tain Golf Club's Stuart Morrison (pictured on right) was determined to generate interest in the PGA National Pro-Am Championship so promised to cover any expenses incurred in competing which proved a hit with his club members.

Amateur Ian Cowper (left) won the resulting club medal to team up with Morrison and after winning their regional final will now take on 15 other clubs from across the UK in the £43,000 final from September 3-4 where they will compete over 36 holes on the PGA Centenary Course – venue for next year's eagerly anticipated Ryder Cup clash.

Morrison believes the Gleneagles appearance is a reward for promoting the event to Tain’s members.

“I wanted to get involved in the event so I said that whoever won through from the club qualifier, I would pay their expenses and it wouldn’t cost them anything,” explained Morrison.

“But to get to the final means that’s all been worth it. Travelling to Gleneagles and back will be a 300 mile round trip but I’ve told Iain I’ll cover it.

“He’s newly married as well so it’s been a big year for him.

“Next year, I hope there will be even more players trying to get through from our club as a result of this. It’s created a lot of interest.”

Cowper, who plays off a handicap of five, admits that the event is the biggest thing to happen to the Ross-shire club.

The 31-year-old, who works for a haulage transport company, said: “I’m starting to get recognised since getting to the final with Stuart.

“It’s a huge thing for us to get there, especially as we pipped our rivals Inverness in the qualifying event which got us here!

“We’re actually feeling quite confident as we’re both playing well at the moment.”

Morrison meanwhile admits there is a certain irony to his final appearance.

“I grew up in Dunblane which is about 10 minutes away from Gleneagles, so I’ve played the course lots of times so hopefully that might give us an advantage.”

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