A stellar field of PGA Professionals are set to travel to Bulgaria next week for the 2014 UniCredit PGA Professional Championship of Europe at Pravets Golf & Spa Resort, having gained their Passports to Pravets and the chance to play amongst some of the best players in Europe.
With a first prize of €10,000 and a total purse of €60,000 up for grabs, Europe’s finest PGA Professionals will make their way to Pravets with determination in their eyes as they prepare to battle it out in the Association’s flagship 72-hole strokeplay event.
The field of players from across the Confederation of Professional Golf’s Member Countries features stalwarts of the tournament that have continued to qualify through their national championship qualifier events such as the PGA of France’s Benjamin Nicolay (2013 7th place) and Frederic Cupillard (2013 T-13th), both of whom represented France at the International Team Championship (ITC) in 2013. Also joining this French pair is 2014 French PGA Grand Prix Champion Laurent Poncelet, who will be looking to open his Championship account with a strong result.
So too returns PGA of Holland Professional, Ben Collier, who has contested the event a number of times and gained a solid T-10th place in the 2013 edition of the event.
But Collier will not be travelling alone from The Netherlands as no less than five Professionals make up the Dutch contingent, made up of other qualifiers from the Benelux Trophy in July, Ricardo Van de Vinn and Edwin Derkson, and two-thirds of the International Team Championship team that landed a historic win at the 2013 event, Ralph Miller (also 2014 National Champion) and Robin Swane.
The 2013 Championship was won by the PGA of Italy’s Federico Elli by six shots from his nearest rivals from the PGA of Switzerland, Alec Roberts and Corsin Cavaziel, who will both be returning this year.
Elli, who is also the 2012 & 2013 Italian Teachers Champion, will be seeking to emulate the returning two-time champion and three-time National Order of Merit winner from Portugal, Hugo Santos who first carded a win in the tournament at its revival in 2011 and then successfully defended the following year in 2012.
But it’s not just the international visitors looking to make their assault on the tournament with local representation from Pravets Golf Club’s very own Director of Instruction William Dow, along with Head Professional at St. Sofia Golf Club and Chairman of the PGA of Bulgaria, Richard Lane.
The Welsh contingent of Jon Bevan and Andrew Barnett are two players who have each represented their country on multiple occasions, including in the PGA of Great Britain & Ireland’s PGA Cup, where GB&I’s Professionals battle it out against the PGA of America’s Professionals in a Ryder Cup-like format.
The Norwegian representation matches up exactly to that of last year as John Drummond and Knut-Alexander Schiager return to see if they can improve upon their 36th and T-19th places respectively.
The Scandinavian influences also continue with Swedish players, both of whom are past Swedish Club Pro Champions, Mark Dewdney (1995 Polish Open winner) and Magnus Persson Atlevi (previous member of the European Tour for 10 seasons).
For more information about the Confederation of Professional Golf, visit the Tournament Hub Page (http://eur.pe/1t2FsIz), follow @PGAsofEurope (http://bit.ly/Pojrwy) and search #PassportToPravets (http://eur.pe/1e6YQex) on Twitter, or like the Confederation of Professional Golf Facebook Page.
Notes to Editors:
An Association of 36 National PGAs (31 European and 5 international) with a collective membership in excess of 21,000 golf professionals, the Confederation of Professional Golf is committed to the advancement of golf, golfers and the golf profession across Europe.
The Association is also a partner in Ryder Cup Europe as the sole member of the Ryder Cup European Development Trust, and is widely acknowledged as a lead body in the delivery of golf development expertise on a global basis through its collaboration with The R&A in its “Working for Golf” programme. [cpg.golf]
Pravets Golf Club
Pravets Golf Club, in the magnificent Golf & Spa Resort, easily accessible from Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, hosts the third PGA Professional Championship of Europe in 2013 after a hugely-successful re-launch of the Confederation of Professional Golf’s 72-hole individual strokeplay championship in 2011. The resort features a four-star Riu hotel with restaurants, superb spa and fully equipped fitness centre and all-round sporting facilities including the superbly designed Peter Harradine-designed course, partly lakeside and with the spectacular backdrop of the Stara Planina mountains. [www.pravets-golfclub.com]
UniCredit Bulbank is the biggest Bulgarian bank in terms of assets, exceeding BGN 12.7 billion as of March 2014. The Bank is servicing over one million individual clients and households, high profile private customers, small and mid sized businesses, larger domestic and multinational corporates, municipalities and budget enterprises. [www.UniCreditBulbank.bg]