The Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles will not feature on The European Tour’s 2014 International Schedule due to the venue’s staging of The Ryder Cup that year, but will return in the summer of 2015.
With preparations for The Ryder Cup set to be fully underway at The Gleneagles Hotel during the 2014 Johnnie Walker Championship’s scheduled August date, The European Tour and their partners at Diageo and The Gleneagles Hotel have agreed to postpone the tournament for one year.
Graeme Marchbank, Johnnie Walker Championship Director, said: “With regret we have accepted that we have no option but to postpone the Johnnie Walker Championship for a year. The Johnnie Walker Championship is a major highlight in the calendar for Diageo and a key commercial platform for the promotion of the world’s number one Scotch whisky, so we are naturally disappointed to miss a year.
“However, as the owner of Gleneagles and as an Official Partner of The 2014 Ryder Cup, Diageo is also working closely with our partners at The European Tour to help deliver a fantastic event. We are also working closely with the Scottish Government on maximising the wider benefit of The Ryder Cup to Scotland. Over the next two years we will be focusing all of our efforts on the goal of delivering the best possible Ryder Cup in 2014.
“We are delighted that in 2015 the Johnnie Walker Championship will return to Gleneagles in partnership with The European Tour.”
Richard Hills, European Ryder Cup Director, said: “We are very grateful to the management of both Diageo, the owners of Johnnie Walker, and The Gleneagles Hotel for agreeing to postpone the Johnnie Walker Championship so that preparations for The Ryder Cup can begin as planned in July 2014. The magnitude of The Ryder Cup is such that trying to host the Johnnie Walker Championship in the same season would have compromised both events.
Keith Waters, Chief Operating Officer and Director of International Policy of The European Tour, said: “We looked at re-scheduling the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles to an earlier week on the 2014 Schedule but a suitable date could not be found. But we are delighted all parties have agreed to re-schedule the Championship for 2015.”
The Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles has been a constant feature on The European Tour International Schedule since the inaugural title was won by Warren Bennett in 1999 over the Jack Nicklaus-designed course which will stage The 2014 Ryder Cup.
Hosting the Johnnie Walker Championship has played a key role in the evolution of The PGA Centenary Course, which has been extensively remodelled and refined into an outstanding Ryder Cup venue.
The Johnnie Walker Championship has, at the same time, developed a habit of producing champions of Ryder Cup calibre with Thomas Björn (2011), Paul Casey (2001 and 2006), Edoardo Molinari (2010) and reigning champion Paul Lawrie all tasting victory over the PGA Centenary Course.
The 2014 Ryder Cup will take place at The Gleneagles Hotel from September 26-28, when Europe will defend the trophy they so dramatically retained at Medinah Country Club in Chicago earlier this year.