The opening exchanges in the battle for PGA EuroPro Tour cards this season will see the bulk of the Scottish hopefuls follow in the spikemarks of Bernhard Langer, Ken Brown, Howard Clark and David Feherty.
The celebrated quartet all recorded European Tour victories at Haggs Castle, where one of six first-stage events in the third-tier circuit’s Qualifying School gets underway today.
“The club were offered the opportunity to host the event by the organisers,” said Haggs Castle general manager Jim Callaghan of a Tour that is run by Matchroom Sports, whose founder and chairman is Barry Hearn.
“Although it is early in the season for us, it was felt that it was a good opportunity to raise the profile of the club as a suitable professional venue once again.”
Langer’s win came in the 1983 Glasgow Golf Classic before Brown and Clark claimed the Glasgow Open title in 1984 and 1985 respectively. Feherty then triumphed there in the 1986 Scottish Open, beating Ian Baker-Finch and Christy O’Connor Jnr in a play-off the year before the event moved to Gleneagles
“It’s 30 years this year since the club hosted the Scottish Open, and although the course is now too short for the Tour guys, it is still a great challenge,” added Callaghan. “In the last four or five years, the condition of the course and in particular, the greens have won many plaudits from both the members and visitors.
“We have hosted the SPGA Captain and Pro challenge for a few years now and of course, the Cameron Corbett Vase, our 72-hole world-ranking amateur event.”
Former Scottish Amateur champions Kevin McAlpine and Zander Culverwell are among the hopefuls in the 36-hole event, which is a door into next week’s three-round final at Frilford Heath.
Others bidding to be involved in that card battle include Zack Saltman, John Henry, Sean Lawrie, Ian Redford, and Scott Stewart-Cation.