Wales will host its third high-profile golfing tournament of 2006 following news that the FIRSTPLUS Wales Seniors Open at the Vale Hotel, Golf & Spa Resort, near Cardiff, from June 16-18, will carry a prize fund of £500,000, making it the second most lucrative event on the European Seniors Tour Schedule.
The tournament, which will be played over 54 holes on the challenging Wales National Course, is expected to attract one of the strongest Seniors fields of the year with Carl Mason of England the defending champion.
Mason won by five strokes at Royal St David’s Golf Club last year and the two-time Order of Merit champion could find Eamonn Darcy, Mark James, Tony Johnstone, José Rivero and Sam Torrance among those standing in the way of his attempt to collect back-to-back titles when the FIRSTPLUS Wales Seniors Open moves to the Vale Hotel, Golf & Spa Resort this summer.
The tournament, which will take place two weeks after The Celtic Manor Wales Open on The European Tour and before the Ryder Cup Wales Challenge on the Challenge Tour, has been given a substantial boost by the sponsorship of FIRSTPLUS Financial Group, the Cardiff-based secured loan provider which has become a household name through its TV advertising featuring Carol Vorderman.
The deal follows on from FIRSTPLUS’ successful sponsorship of the 2005 Challenge Tour event, also staged at the Vale Resort, and Jeremy Masding, the company’s Chief Executive, said: “The 2005 event was a great success for us but the Seniors event is even bigger, both in the context of The Ryder Cup Wales Summer of Golf and the European Seniors Tour, where it is the second biggest event on the schedule in terms of its prize fund of £500,000.
“As a result of the successful Ryder Cup bid, Wales is now attracting top class players and hosting world class tournaments, which provide fantastic corporate opportunities for companies, like ourselves, to network with clients and reward staff, without going outside Wales. FIRSTPLUS is delighted to be associated with Ryder Cup Wales.”
Stephen Leeke, Marketing Director at the Vale Hotel, Golf & Spa Resort, said: “The FIRSTPLUS Wales Seniors Open is the biggest event we have hosted and we are really looking forward to it. Our Wales National Course will be set up to provide a testing but fair challenge to some of the biggest names in golf.
“With the event highlights shown on Sky TV around the world, it is a great opportunity to further boost the profile of the Resort and Wales around the world.”
Andrew Davies, Welsh Assembly Government Minister for Economic Development and Transport, said: “This is a great example of how The Ryder Cup can generate real business opportunities. It is encouraging that a high-profile company such as FIRSTPLUS has chosen to invest in such a prestigious event. Their involvement helps ensure the continued success of The Ryder Cup Wales Summer of Golf. I am sure their example will be followed by many other businesses who will recognise that by working closely with Ryder Cup Wales they can help to create long-term economic benefits around this great, world class sporting event in 2010.”
The 2010 Ryder Cup will take place at The Celtic Manor Resort in Newport in September 2010. The successful bid to bring the event to Wales was put together by a public/private sector partnership involving Newport City Council, Newport Unlimited, Sports Council for Wales, Wales Tourist Board, the Welsh Development Agency, the Welsh Golf Union and Welsh Ladies Golf Union. Ryder Cup Wales 2010 has been established to deliver on the public sector commitments in the bid, including the annual ‘Wales Summer of Golf’ events, which in 2006 will encompass a Ladies European Tour event at Machynys GC, a European Seniors Tour event at Vale Hotel Golf & Spa Resort and a Challenge Tour event at Nefyn GC.
Ryder Cup Wales also co-ordinates activity to maximise the wider economic, golf tourism and golf development benefits of bringing the event to Wales, supporting the partner organisations listed above as appropriate.
For more information about the event or if you would like to find out more about the business opportunities that exist, please contact Ryder Cup Wales on +44 (0) 29 20 368 470 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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