Thomas Björn, Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley have all confirmed they will play in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles from August 26-29, 2010.
European Ryder Cup Captain Colin Montgomerie recently named the three vastly experienced and respected players as his Vice Captains, creating his backroom dream team as Europe aim to win back The Ryder Cup this October. Each has stellar Ryder Cup records and over 30 tournament titles between them.
While they will each be hoping to win their first Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles title, they will also be keeping an eye on those players still battling to secure their place in the European Ryder Cup Team. The likes of Francesco and Edoardo Molinari, Peter Hanson, Simon Dyson, Rhys Davies and Grégory Havret have already entered the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in a bid to claim those vital final Ryder Cup points or catch the eye of Captain Montgomerie and his Vice Captains as they ponder the three wildcards picks.
Thomas Bjorn said, “It is going to be a very interesting week and the players on the periphery of the Team are going to be under a huge amount of pressure to perform at Gleneagles to impress Captain Montgomerie. I wouldn’t be surprised to see any of the three of us there or thereabouts on the Sunday leaderboard as the pressure is off us this year as we’ve already got our place on the Team.”
Darren Clarke, currently 20th on the Ryder Cup European Rankings said, “I’ve had two second place finishes this season and with my recent return to form I really am enjoying myself out on the golf course and would love to win again. It will be an exciting week both on and off the course as we see who rises to the challenge of either securing their place or grabbing our attention.”
Paul McGinley added, “The Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles marks the start of our duties as Ryder Cup Vice Captains as Monty has said he wants to talk everything through with us. I am thrilled to be part of the Ryder Cup this year and am looking forward to this important week in our campaign.”
Previous winners of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles include Englishmen Warren Bennett (1999) and Miles Tunnicliff (2004) along with their fellow countryman Paul Casey who, to date, is the only player to have won the tournament on two occasions (2001 and 2006).
They are joined on the Roll of Honour by Sweden’s Pierre Fulke (2000), Australia’s Adam Scott (2002), Denmark’s Søren Kjeldsen (2003), and Italy’s Emanuele Canonica (2005). The only Scot to have his name on the trophy to date is Marc Warren who triumphed in 2007. The last two Championships were won by Frenchman Grégory Havret (2008) and Sweden’s Peter Hedblom (2009). This year’s winner will receive a cheque for £233,330 from a total prize fund of £1,400,000 as the players compete over The PGA Centenary Course, venue for the 2014 Ryder Cup.
The Championship has secured the services of IMG, the world’s leading sports, entertainment and media company, to stage the tournament as they look to build on the heritage and prestige of the tournament and continue to raise it’s profile on the global stage.
Tickets for the Johnnie Walker Championship are priced from £22 for a daily ticket to £45 for a season ticket and are available at the gate. Normal concessions apply. Car parking is free. For full details please visit www.europeantourtickets.com
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