Two ‘majors’ for Blackpool

TWO of the north region’s ‘majors’ will again be played in Blackpool in 2011 as the PGA announced their schedule for the year.

Final dates have yet to be announced, but the town will host both the James Brearley Lancashire Open at Blackpool North Shore and the PGA North Region Championship at De Vere Herons Reach.

And in a move that bucks the recessionary trend, there will be record prize money at stake and an unprecedented number of Order Of Merit tournaments.

More than £110,000 will be up for grabs this season from nine ranking events, one more than the previous best set last year.

New to the schedule is a pro-am at Yorkshire club Cottingham Park which gets the campaign under way in mid-May.

Finishing

It is one of four team events featuring three amateurs and one professional which will count for merit points.

The others are the Arthur Gubay Manx Charity Classic at Mount Murray, the Kerr Investments Cumbria Classic at Carlisle and Penrith, and the Rocar Moores Fixby Classic played over the Huddersfield course.

The five ‘majors’ are the Phoenix Gas Classic at Wychwood Park – the region’s most southerly outpost; the Spirotech Open at Manchester’s Marriott Worsley Park; the Lancashire Open, the De Vere Leeds Cup at Oulton Hall and the North Region Championship.

Additionally, there are new pro-ams at Davyhulme Park and Macclesfield to sit alongside the established ones at Brough, Windermere and Royal St David’s and Aberdovey.

North region secretary Graham Maly, embarking on his fourth season at the helm, said: “We bucked the trend last year and have continued to do so this time.

“To increase our Order of Merit events is fantastic and we’re delighted that existing sponsors are supporting us again.”