ISPS HANDA renews PGA Seniors Championship sponsorship

04/03/2013 10:27:24
Paul Wesselingh and Midori Miyazaki from ISPS Handa  (Getty Images)
Paul Wesselingh and Midori Miyazaki from ISPS Handa (Getty Images)

Tokyo-based ISPS (International Sports Promotion Society) is to continue its sponsorship of the prestigious PGA Seniors Championship – one of the leading tournaments on the European Senior Tour schedule.

The ISPS HANDA PGA Seniors Championship will have an increased prize fund of £260,000 and will be staged at De Vere Mottram Hall, on the outskirts of Manchester, England, for the first time from June 6-9, 2013.

Tickets for the event, which will feature a host of past Ryder Cup and European Tour legends, are available via www.europeantour.com/tickets.

The championship, which was first competed for in 1957 and is the only 72-hole event on the European Senior Tour outside of the Major Championships, will also continue with the ground-breaking ISPS HANDA PGA Academy Programme to train PGA professionals to coach blind and disabled golfers, which was an overwhelming success in 2012.

ISPS HANDA, founded by Japanese philanthropist Dr Haruhisa Handa in 2006, supports a significant number of golf tournaments and initiatives across the globe as a platform to enhance the playing opportunities for blind and disabled golfers, with the wider aim of it being included in the Paralympic Games.

“ISPS HANDA is pleased to again be sponsoring such a prestigious tournament as the PGA Seniors Championship and we look forward to seeing it staged at a new venue at De Vere Mottram Hall,” said Dr Handa.

“'We are also delighted to continue the unique ISPS HANDA PGA Academy Programme in partnership with the PGA which has already made great strides in giving blind and disabled golfers greater access to specialised coaching from PGA professionals.

“ISPS HANDA’s support for golf is founded on our belief in the power of sport. Sport has a unique ability to create hope, to breakdown educational and cultural barriers and to inspire people in a way that very little else does. It brings people together and unites communities around the world. This is why we are extremely proud of the growing success of the ISPS HANDA PGA Academy Programme.”

Daniel Hodson, Director of Golf for De Vere, is looking forward to working with ISPS HANDA for a second year as the tournament moves to the stunning Cheshire venue of Mottram Hall, which has recently benefited from a £6million pound refurbishment.  It was previously played at De Vere Slaley Hall in Northumberland, England, from 2008-2012.

The Championship, which will feature a number of legends of the game, will be staged on Mottram Hall’s 7,006-yard par 72 championship course, designed by Dave Thomas.

He said: “We’re delighted to once again welcome ISPS HANDA as the title sponsor of the PGA Seniors Championship for 2013, and continue our successful partnership with them.

“Their involvement brought a new dimension to the event last year, and we’ll continue to work closely with the team to ensure this year raises the bar again.

“The commitment and investment in increasing golf’s accessibility for blind and disabled golfers is truly inspiring, and mirrors our commitment to developing the game at all levels, including the continuation of the regional blind and disabled events we host in the run up to the Grand Final during the week of the PGA Seniors Championship.

“We’re delighted that Mottram Hall, which is on the verge of completing a £6million renovation, has the opportunity to showcase its fantastic facilities after five great years at Slaley Hall.

“I’m sure the golf fans in the north west will thoroughly enjoy what is always a highly entertaining week, featuring some of the biggest characters and names in golf.”

The partnership between De Vere and ISPS HANDA has been welcomed by Simon Higginbottom, head of Tournaments at the PGA. He added: “ISPS HANDA is a tremendous supporter of golf all over the world and their continued support of the PGA Seniors Championship is welcomed.

“The championship is among an elite list of tournaments promoting ISPS’s aim to develop the sport for blind and disabled golfers and the PGA and its PGA professionals are determined to continue the momentum from last year.

“We are also looking forward to working closely with De Vere and the staff at Mottram Hall. I am sure all of the players will relish the opportunity to compete for this trophy over another of the UK’s finest courses.”

Andy Stubbs, Managing Director of the European Senior Tour, said: “We are delighted that ISPS HANDA will be involved again in 2013 and we are really excited about the move to Manchester and Mottram Hall, which we are confident will help us to continue to attract large crowds to the Championship.”

Last year’s Championship was won by six-time PGA Cup player Paul Wesselingh, securing him his maiden European Senior Tour win. The victory played a major part in him securing a top five finish on the Senior Tour Order of Merit and the Rookie of the Year title.