THE standard of play on the PGA EuroPro Tour is at its highest ever level, according to PGA Master Professional Alan Walker.
Walker, who acts as a referee on the PGA EuroPro Tour, made his comments after seeing Robert McGuirk win The PokerMillion.Com Championship at Northampton’s Collingtree Park.
The Kent star finished two strokes clear of double-winner John Wade and emerging talent Zane Scotland (pictured, right, with stable-mate Ben St John) to pick up his first triumph of the year.
The tournament also saw the Collingtree Park Course Record broken twice, first by Jason Kelly with a 65 in the second round before Wade shot a 64 on the final day.
Walker, one of only nine Master Professionals in the 100-year history of the PGA, believes that the investment of the organisation in coaching in recent years has helped standards at all levels to soar.
He also praised the commercial input provided by Matchroom Sport in the development of the PGA EuroPro Tour.
“This is not a third-tier tour any more – it’s the standard is such that the players are more like the third team in the Premiership than third division, a Liverpool if you like,” said Walker.
“We set the courses up to what we consider will be difficult, and every week the guys are shooting ten or twelve under par over three rounds.
“That goes back to how they have developed as players.
“We are reaping the benefits of 20 years coaching and I believe that in the next 20 years this will continue even more.
“Many years ago, my role model was Tony Jacklin, but now it’s Tiger Woods or one of the many others there are out there.
“We will even need some more courses, because of the numbers of juniors who are being attracted to the game.
“They are coming into the PGA training programmes and it’s a great healthcheck for golf.
“The PGA and Matchroom Sport have done a fabulous job and will continue to do so.”