Passionate Bevan parachuted into PGA Cup role


0807PGACup Jon Bevan

Jon Bevan is hoping to help fire Great Britain & Ireland to PGA Cup success after being appointed vice-captain.

The 46-year-old will be Russell Weir’s right hand man when GB&I take on the might of the PGA of America at De Vere Slaley Hall from September 20-22.

Bevan, from Rhos on Sea Golf Club in Llandudno, is passionate about the biennial contest having made his debut in 2007 when Gary Alliss’s team was narrowly defeated at Reynolds Plantation in Georgia.

Weir, who is out to avenge defeat at Cordevalle in Northern California two years ago when the US won comprehensively by 17.5 – 8.5, believes Bevan will prove a real asset in his quest.

“Jon is the ideal man to have on your side, his experience and passion will bring a lot to the team,” said Weir.

“I had been thinking about a vice-captain for some time and he was my first choice. He knows a lot of the players, and his appointment takes a bit of pressure off me which he is doing already.”

Bevan admitted he was stunned to be asked having just missed out on qualification for the team at last month’s Glenmuir PGA Professional Championship.

“I was flabbergasted to be asked,” said Bevan. “Russell asked me the day before Open qualifying which gave me a nice little buzz although it was unfortunately not quite good enough to get me into the Open.

“I’m as thrilled and excited to be in this role as if I was playing. Being a player in the PGA Cup is a phenomenal experience, and I say that having played in a few Opens, and around the world - the PGA Cup is right up there.

“I’ve always liked the head to head battles, especially the idea of pitching yourself against someone as good as the Americans. It is just gladiatorial, looking into your rival’s eyes, and throwing all you’ve got at them.”

With 10 rookies on the team, Bevan’s experience could be crucial but he has no qualms about the quality of the 2013 team which comprises Dan Greenwood (Forest Pines), David Callaway (Milford), Benn Barham (Kings Hill), Graham Fox (Clydeway Golf), Nicolas Brennan (Bowood G&CC), Jon Barnes (Ampfield Par 3), Richard Wallis (Walmer & Kingsdown), Scott Henderson (Kings Links), Gareth Wright (West Linton) and Greig Hutcheon (Banchory).

“They might be 10 rookies but if you look at them individually each of the 10 has great experience and results and Russell probably couldn’t have a better 10 rookies based on their achievements. They are seriously good golfers,” added Bevan.

“Russell has a fantastic team at his disposal. I feel part of my job is to help them realise just how big the PGA Cup is before it is over. It really is a great week but it is only when you come out after the week that you realise how much it means and I want them to come away having left everything on the golf course.”

The Americans, with three successive victories under their belts, will start favourites but Bevan believes Slaley Hall could work in the hosts favour.

“I think the idea of playing at Slaley where our players have played well is a huge bonus. But you can’t underestimate how good the Americans are, they never bring weak teams,” he added.

“Our guys are aware of what is coming and that will help our team. I don’t think the Americans have ever underestimated our ability but at the same time they have a swagger and confidence but from the guys on our team I feel we have some of that as well. It’s going to be a fantastic week and I can’t wait.”

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