PGA Cup place for West Linton’s Gareth Wright

Gareth Wright (left) with GB&I PGA Cup team captain Russell Weir

Gareth Wright (left) with GB&I PGA Cup team captain Russell Weir

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WEST LINTON PGA Professional golfer Gareth Wright has been called into the 2013 Great Britain & Ireland PGA Cup team.

The Borders-based pro, currently defending the Glenmuir PGA Professional Championship, has been drafted into Russell Weir’s side after Irishman David Higgins announced his withdrawal due to European Tour commitments.

Wright capitalises by virtue of being the next player in line on the basis of last year’s Titleist PGA Play-Offs, where he lost out on an automatic place in the team in a shootout with fellow Scot Scott Henderson. Higgins was runner-up and qualified by right.

A delighted Wright said: “It was a nice bit of news before I went on to the first tee as it settled me down and I didn’t have to worry about doing anything stupid.

“Making the team was my goal at the start of last year. Winning this tournament a year ago made that a lot easier, but I know it didn’t get the job done entirely.

“It’s a fantastic honour to be representing The PGA. It means lot of things as I can plan my year a bit differently and I can relax a bit more on the course this week.”

Weir, currently at Northumberland’s Slaley Hall where the PGA Cup will be hosted in September, said: “It is disappointing to lose David as he’s a quality player but I am fortunate that I can replace him with an equally strong player in Gareth.

“He won the Glenmuir PGA Professional Championship last year and still was not guaranteed a place in the team, while he was equal third at the PGA Play-Offs and missed out in a play-off there.

“I know Gareth reasonably well and he’ll be a strong player. He’s long off the tee and got good methods.”

Six other members of the squad will be determined at the conclusion of this week’s championship based on points accrued this week and at last year’s tournament. The final member of the team will be determined by Weir, who has a captain’s pick.

GB&I are looking to regain the Llandudno Trophy having last won the trophy in 2005.

The PGA Cup is the Ryder Cup equivalent for PGA Professionals and competed for biennially.