Tartan Tour duo in from start in PGA Cup

SAN MARTIN, CA - SEPTEMBER 17:  Gareth Wright (L) and Graham Fox of the Great Britain & Ireland team wait on a green during a practice session prior to the start of the 27th PGA Cup at CordeValle on September 17, 2015 in San Martin, California.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
SAN MARTIN, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Gareth Wright (L) and Graham Fox of the Great Britain & Ireland team wait on a green during a practice session prior to the start of the 27th PGA Cup at CordeValle on September 17, 2015 in San Martin, California. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
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TARTAN TOUR duo Graham Fox and Gareth Wright will both be involved in the opening fourballs session in the 27th PGA Cup at CordeValle in California.

Fox, the 2012 Scottish PGA champion who is attached to Clydeway Golf in Uddingston, joins forces with Englishman David Dixon, a former European Tour winner.

They are being sent out in the second match by GB&I captain Jon Bevan and will face 47-year-old Bob Sowards, playing in the event for a third time, and debutant Jamie Broce.

West Linton pro Wright, winner of the Scottish PGA Championship last year, has been paired with Englishman Jason Levermore, who was on the winning team in the recent Lombard Trophy at Gleneagles.

Also involved in the opening session is Cameron Clark, whose father Ian was a beaten finalist in the 1953 Scottish Boys’ Championship at North Berwick.

Clark Snr, who spent most of his career as a PGA pro south of the Border, has made the long journey to San Martin to watch his 41-year-old son make his debut in the biennial event.

The Moor Hall professional will join forces with Michael Watson in the opening match against Matt Dobyns and Ben Polland, who, at 25, is the youngester American to play in the event.

Bevan’s remaining partnership is an all-English one of Lee Clarke and Paul Hendriksen, who are up against Omar Uresti, a two-times Nationwide Tour winner, and Sean Dougherty.

“Everything is where we want it to be,” said Bevan, who made two playing appearances before assisting Cowal’s Russell Weir in a 13-13 draw at Slaley Hall in Northumberland two years ago.

“There are a few great sayings but ‘winners truly believe’ suggests that if you approach anything with the right attitude, whatever is facing you, you can get the better of.”

Bevan, who is bidding to become the first GB&I captain to taste success in the event on US soil, added: “The team know what is coming, from tee to green they’ve been very impressive and around the greens have got better each day.

“The pressure and stress has built but I love it, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

As was the case at Slaley Hall, the Americans are being captained by Allen Wronowski, who has earned the second chance after Ted Bishop was stripped of his PGA of American presidency in the wake of comments he made about Ian Poulter following last year’s Ryder Cup.

“We have a nice mix of older players and younger players,” said Wronowski. “We have three veterans on this team and they relayed a great message to the other guys during our welcome dinner -- it’s an honor to be here, enjoy the moment and really try to just focus on having fun with the matches.

“Sure, there’s pressure and tension, but have fun with it. I read a story the other day where Colin Montgomerie said he couldn’t pull it together for the majors because he put himself under too much pressure.

“But then when he got to the Champions Tour majors, he started relaxing and having fun and now he’s won three so far.”

The Teams

GB&I

Cameron Clark (Moor Hall)

Lee Clarke (Beeston Fields)

David Dixon (Enmore Park)

Graham Fox (Clydeway Golf)

Paul Hendriksen (Ivybridge)

Niall Kearney (Royal Dublin)

Jason Levermore (Channels)

Michael Watson (Wessex Golf Centre)

Gareth Wright (West Linton)

Alex Wrigley (Hartlepool)

US

Michael Block (Arroyo Trabuco)

Jamie Broce (University of Toledo)

Stuart Deane (University of Texas)

Matt Dobyns (Fresh Meadow)

Sean Dougherty (Oakwood Country Club)

Alan Morin (The Falls Country Club)

Ben Polland (Deepdale)

Bob Sowards (New Albany)

Grant Sturgeon (Winged Foot)

Omar Uresti (PGA Life Member)

Opening Fourball pairings (US Pacific time)

7.30am Michael Watson and Cameron Clark v Matt Dobyns and Ben Polland

7.45am Graham Fox and David Dixon v Bob Sowards and Jamie Broce

8.00am Lee Clarke and Paul Hendrikson v Omar Uresti and Sean Dougherty

8.15am Jason Levermore and Gareth Wright v Alan Morin and Grant Sturgeon