Scotland loses Paul Lawrie Match Play '¨to Germany

Scotland is to lose the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play, following the announcement that the event is to be staged in Germany next year.

Paul Lawrie's Match Play event is heading to Bavaria. Picture: Michael Gillen
Paul Lawrie's Match Play event is heading to Bavaria. Picture: Michael Gillen

The Beckenbauer course at the Quellness Golf Resort Bad Griesbach in Bavaria is the new venue.

It will remain a 64-man knockout match play with a €1 million prize fund and will be played from 17-20 August.

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This year’s staging took place at Archerfield in East Lothian but was poorly attended with crowds barely reaching the 10,000 mark, which represented a drop of around 1,000 from 12 months ago when the inaugural event was held at Murcar, near Lawrie’s home city of Aberdeen.

The 1999 Open champion said he was delighted with the way this year’s match play panned out, with England’s Anthony Wall beating Alex Noren of Sweden in the final, and Lawrie had expressed his wish that the event would return to Archerfield. However, it will now go overseas to the venue which also hosts the European Open.

In a statement Dominik Senn, chief executive of promoters 4Sports & Entertainment, said: “We are very pleased to see the event coming to Germany in its third year. We know the venue very well as we have successfully run the Porsche European Open two years in a row at this fantastic golf resort. The business reach of Germany presents an attractive market for sponsors and partners alike and we relish the opportunity to keep building on a very well received event the first two years.”

Lawrie added: “We are very fortunate to be able to host the 2017 event at the Quellness Golf Resort Bad Griesbach and I look forward to seeing the tournament taking place in a new country. Scotland has been great for the event the last two years and we have hosted the event at two superb venues but the opportunity to play on the course where the Porsche European Open returned in 2015 is a fantastic change.”

Keith Waters, chief operating officer at the European Tour, said: “This is a positive move for the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play, which has proven a great success over the past two years.

“Bad Griesbach as a venue has been a superb partner to the European Tour in recent years, first hosting the Challenge Tour and then the Porsche European Open in 2015 and 2016, so we are delighted to extend that relationship and also to continue our partnership with 4SPORTS, who along with Paul Lawrie have shown their huge commitment to the success of this tournament.”