Richard the third?

Richard the third?


Richard Wallis will tee off in the PGA Play-Offs on the PGA Sultan course at Antalya Golf Club, Turkey, bidding to become the first to win the event three times.

Wallis, who is attached to Canterbury Golf Club, Kent, recorded back-to-back victories in 2011 and 2012.

Both those successes were achieved at the course which is the home of the PGA National, Turkey, and Wallis goes into the event that carries a £25,000 prize fund in good form.

That follows a disappointing campaign on the EuroPro Tour that was hampered by a back injury and an upturn in fortune in the PGA Cup in Texas in September.

Wallis was Great Britain and Ireland’s leading player in the match which saw the USA regain the Llandudno Trophy, winning three of his four matches.

He followed up with victory in the Sandwich Links Championship at Prince's and Royal St George's last month and is happy with his form.

Reflecting on his year to date, Wallis said: "It wasn't the best of seasons on the EuroPro Tour and the back didn't help with that but it's fine now.

"I found some nice form in Texas and, having had nine wins in our region this season, there have been more highs than lows.

"It's been annoying that there haven't been any tournaments before Turkey but I've been practising hard and I'm happy with my game.

"It would be brilliant to become the first player to win it three times, the only other man who could do that is Scotland's Greig Hutcheon but he isn't playing this year.”

Other absentees from this year’s event include the past three winners: defending champion David Dixon, Rob Coles and Matt Cort and Wallis is the only previous champion playing in the 54-hole tournament.

However, he faces tough opposition from the 24-strong field that comprises the three leading players on the Order of Merit in each of the PGA’s seven regions, the first and second in the Titleist and FootJoy PGA Professional Championship and winner Birdietime PGA Assistants’ Championship.

The latter was won by Michael Bullen who goes into the event buoyed by his victory in Australia’s National Futures Championship at Ballarat Golf Club.  

In addition to earning the first prize of £3,500, the winner will qualify for next next September's European Tour flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, and the top five will book their places in next July's Betfred British Masters at Close House, Newcastle.

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