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Retail groups all set for Celtic battle

July 22, 2013

PGA Professionals attached to retail groups Foremost and the TGI Golf Partnership are all set for an event to remember as they contest the Ashworth Cup at Celtic Manor over two days from July 30-31.

The two groups go head-to-head in the Ryder Cup style event for the fourth time later this month and have announced their 12-man teams who will travel to the famous venue, which staged a memorable Ryder Cup match in 2010.

Competing over the same course and sharing the same team rooms as the European and American teams did three years ago, Foremost will be looking to level the series which TGI Golf currently lead 2-1.

Both groups staged qualifiers in order to finalise their teams with PGA Professionals travelling across the country in an effort to book a place in their respective teams.

TGI Golf staged four regional qualifiers - at Lurgan, Belfast; Woking; Wetherby and Duddingston, Edinburgh - with the top two at each event automatically qualifying for the team. 

Captain Peter Hanna, Head Professional at Lurgan then selected four wildcard picks from those who had attempted to qualify but fell short.

The TGI Golf Ashworth Cup team includes, Brendan McGovern (Headfort), Raymond Burns (Lisheen Springs), Simon Buckley (Ham Manor), Craig Sutherland (Cherry Lodge), Gordon Stewart (Cawder), Stuart Williamson (Clydeway), Nathan Stead (Shipley), Andrew Rhodes (Keighley), Chris Gray (Cottingham), Rob Giles (Greenore), Cameron Clark (Moor Hall) and Michael Nesbit (Westerhope). Carl Bianco (Woking) will be travelling reserve.

"Selecting four wildcards was an extremely difficult choice," said Hanna. "I could have selected another 12 from the quality available, I feel disappointed for those who didn't make it, there was a lot of quality in the qualifying events."

Captain Hanna has been a part of the TGI Golf team on each of its victories, competing at the inaugural event at The K Club in 2010 and at Turnberry last year and believes this year's team has the strength in depth to capture a third Ashworth Cup. 

"I'm extremely comfortable with the team we have, they are all excellent players and they proved that in the qualifying events. The golf on display and results posted in those four events were fantastic."

The Foremost Championship, held at the MacDonald Portal Hotel in Cheshire in May, was used to select the Foremost team. The top nine players gained automatic qualification and the remaining three Captain's picks came from players who participated in the Championship.

Representing Foremost will be David Wood (St Cleres Hall), Steve Carter (Walmley), Nick Horrocks (Staddon Heights), Nick Ludwell (Selby), Simon Lynn (Trentham Park), Gareth Jones (Sandiway), Darren Pearce (Barnard Castle), Paul Stoller (Ulveston), Gary Stubbington (Hockley), Chris Gill (Newquay), Bill Noble (Cavan) and Adam Constable (Cardiff).

Captain and Foremost Chief Executive Paul Hedges, added: "The Ashworth Cup is a great opportunity for our members to get away from their places of work and compete in a superbly well run event. We base our selection on the results of our hugely successful Foremost Golf Championship. Selection is a reward for our members who continue to support our fine event. 

"We have a very strong team and we are confident they will represent Foremost to best of their ability. May the best team win!" 

Giles Birkhead, Regional Sales Manager for TaylorMade-adidas Golf and Ashworth said: "The Ashworth Cup is a fantastic event that in the space of just four years has become a key date in the calendar for both Foremost and TGI Golf. We know just how much it means to the winning team!

"This year's event will take place during the Spring/Summer 14 pre-book period and we have some fantastic news for everyone at TGI Golf and Foremost. We are making Ashworth apparel exclusive to green grass retail and also investing heavily with our new ' Partnership Schemes ' which features free cresting, in-store investment, staff uniform and sell through promotions!

"When you combine this year's event with Justin Rose's incredible US Open victory and our new exciting offer for 2014 we are confident that Ashworth will firmly confirm itself as the UK's number one authentic golf brand.

"We look forward to welcoming everyone to Celtic Manor for a great day of competitive golf."

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