The final event of the 2009 PGA EuroPro Tour takes place at Fairmont St Andrews at the beginning of October, offering players the last chance to make it into the top 60 and the Tour Championship.
The PartyPoker.com International Open begins on Wednesday October 7 and the line-up for the climax to the 2009 Tour will be set after Friday’s final round. It seems fitting that the final event of the year takes place at the home of golf given the strong showing that Scottish golfers have made on the Tour this year.
Glasgow’s Scott Jamieson (pictured) leads the Order of Merit and is joined in the top six by two fellow countrymen – fourth placed Jack Doherty (North Gailes) and Elliot Saltman in sixth spot (Aegon). Jamieson beat Saltman in a play-off at The PartyPoker.com European Championship at Prince’s GC in June and his second win on the Tour came in August at The ABC Solutions UK Championship at Wychwood Park. Doherty scooped the second event of the year back in May, winning the Green 17 Faithlegg Championship at Faithlegg GC in Ireland and two third place finishes in August in The Pandora Open at Burhill GC and The Formby Hall Classic (tied) saw him secure a top five spot and exemption to the second phase of European Tour Qualifying School.
Saltman achieved the same status thanks to Jamieson’s position of in the Challenge Tour rankings, and the powerful 27 year-old has recorded some of the most impressive individual rounds this year, with a course record 65 at Formby Hall. However, victory has eluded Saltman so far, with his runners-up berth to Jamieson in Kent following his tie for second in the opening event at Collingtree Park.
Jamieson’s lead at the top of the money list is a slender one, with just over £1,000 between him and Tom Haylock (Ground Construction Ltd) in second place. Daniel Brooks (Mill Hill) is in third spot while Paul Dwyer (Clitheroe) sits between Doherty and Saltman in fifth position.
Aside from the current crop of EuroPro players striving for a top 50 spot, interest comes from an impressive list of invited players. Top of the pile is 1989 Ryder Cup winner Ronan Rafferty who won the Order of Merit in that year and has seven European Tour wins to his name, and he is joined by ex-European Tour pro Paul Eales. Paul McKechnie returns to the Tour after winning the 2002 Tour Championship and Order of Merit, and European and Asian Tour man Craig Lee recently topped the European Tour Qualifying School at Dundonald Links.
Three Scotsmen in Great Britain and Ireland’s 2009 Walker Cup also take part on home turf, with team members Gavin Dear and Wallace Booth joined by squad man Keir McNicholl.
Live scoring of The PartyPoker.com International Open begins on Wednesday morning via the Score Updates link on the homepage.
Date Posted: 02/10/09