Why south’s top golf pros are on their way to Goodwood

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The best professionals in southern England will converge on Goodwood for the crucial end-of-season C&K Group Southern PGA Championship from October 17 to 19.

The leading 80 players from the south region order of merit are eligible to compete in the new 54-hole event over the Downs course, ranked in Golf World magazine’s Top 100 English courses and was the venue for the successful 2010 English PGA Championship.

Some of the most-celebrated figures in competitive golf will chase the title – including former European Masters champion Jamie Spence as well as Portuguese Open winner Michael McLean and former Trinidad & Tobago Open champion Gary Stubbington.

Considerable attention will focus on Richard Wallis from Walmer & Kingsdown, who has led the order of merit for most of the season and has secured six victories to open an impressive gap on his nearest rivals.

He is expected to be ready to take the next significant step in his career and qualify for a place on the European Tour and join the ranks of the globe-trotting superstars.

The 7,104-yard Downs course was designed by five-times Open champion James Braid and has kept pace with modern developments so it maintains an effective and formidable challenge.

The intriguing aspect of the event sees the preceding pro-am contest on Monday, October 17 offer the chance for amateur golfers to form a team to play alongside the pros and gain valuable experience from their technique and know-how.

The pro-am includes breakfast, 18 holes with a shotgun start at 11am, range balls and a three-course celebratory dinner in Goodwood House followed by prizegiving.

Eddie Bullock, captain of the PGA, says: “Golf At Goodwood is leading the way for anyone to enjoy top-class golf at affordable prices and this new event will underline our commitment to that philosophy.”