Gareth Wright leads bid to qualify for PGA Cup team

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HOPES of completing golf’s team clean sweep by adding the PGA Cup to the Ryder Cup, Curtis Cup, Solheim Cup and Walker Cup, all of which are residing on this side of the Atlantic, could be boosted considerably in Turkey this week.

The Titleist PGA Play-Offs may offer a host of individual rewards, including spots in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, but the top three finishers will also qualify automatically for the GB&I team to take on the Americans in next year’s PGA Cup match at Slaley Hall.

Russell Weir’s team were soundly beaten in the last joust, at Corde Valle in Calfornia, but the re-appointed Scot should have more powerful ammunition when the two teams lock horns in Northumberland.

The Tartan Tour players alone taking part in the four-round event in Turkey would be useful additions as Gareth Wright (West Linton), Greig Hutcheon (Banchory), David Orr (Mearns Castle) and Scott Henderson (Kings Links) are all talented individuals.

Wright, for instance, won the Glenmuir British Club Professionals’ Championship earlier this year, giving him an excellent chance of qualifying for that Slaley Hall team even if he doesn’t make the top three this week.

More recently, the Edinburgh-based Welshman joined forces with Orr and David Patrick to land a runaway Scottish success in the PGA of Europe International Team Championship in Portugal.

“This is the first time I’ve played in the Play-Offs and I’m looking forward to it,” said Wright.

“I feel my practice has gone well and that I have been playing nicely in the recent weeks.

“I feel that with winning the Team Championship a week and a bit ago it can only give me confidence going into this event, though it is going to be a tough week with the top players in Britain playing.”

The event at Antalya Golf Club’s PGA Sultan Course carries a £15,000 prize fund as well as entry to a number of European and Challenge Tour events.