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Seve Trophy heading to the Northeast

Wynyard Golf Club in Stockton-on-Tees was today chosen as the next host of the prestigious Seve Trophy golf tournament in 2005.

Tournament organisers – the two leading Spanish companies Amen Corner and MediaPro – have signed a contract with the Wynyard Club confirming that the thrilling team event, pitting the cream of Great Britain and Ireland’s golfers against mainland Europe’s best, will be held at the parkland course next year.

The four-day Ryder Cup-style event will be the biggest golf tournament ever staged in the North East with a host of top European PGA Tour stars gracing the 7,043 yard course, set against the backdrop of the stunning Wynyard Estate, near Stockton, in Tees Valley.

Five times Major winner Seve Ballesteros will captain the Continental European team. Representatives from his company Amen Corner have already visited the course, which has PGA approval and has staged the European Tour Qualifying School event for the past five years.

It is estimated that the Seve Trophy will generate £10m for the local economy and will create approximately 100 new jobs connected to the event.

Ivan Ballesteros, General Manager of Amen Corner, said: "We are delighted that the Seve Trophy event will return to England next year and believe that Europe's leading players will warm to the North East and its hospitality."

One NorthEast has led the bid to bring the Seve Trophy to the region. Alan Clarke, One NorthEast Chief Executive, said: “Securing this fantastic sporting event for Wynyard Golf Club is a huge boost for the Tees Valley and the region as a whole.

“The Seve Trophy is one of the biggest sporting competitions ever to be staged in the North East and will boast the most glittering line up of golfers ever to tee off in our region.”

Wynyard’s successful bid was put together by The Wynyard Partnership – comprising Wynyard Golf Club, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, Tees Valley Partnership and Tees Valley Regeneration.

Wynyard Golf Club Limited Managing Director Gary Munro said: “This is the biggest day in the golf club’s short history and we are thrilled to have secured an event of the international stature of the Seve Trophy.

“We are an ambitious club and will make sure that the European Tour stars are given a fantastic welcome with a course to match.”

Joe Docherty, Tees Valley Regeneration Chief Executive, said: “The Seve Trophy is the kind of world class event Tees Valley deserves. This tournament will put the area on the global sporting map and will be a huge economic boost.

“I’m sure that local golf fans will turn out in their masses to watch the top stars in action.”

Securing the Seve Trophy is a major element of the Newcastle Gateshead Initiative’s £140m culture10 programme, supporting a range of world class festivals and events to establish the North East as a world class visitor destination.

Paul Collard, Creative Director for culture10 said: “The North East has a strong sporting tradition which is very much part of our cultural heritage and an essential element of the culture10 programme. Securing a competition of this standard demonstrates once again the excellent reputation the region is gaining for hosting world-class events, both nationally and internationally.”

The Seve Trophy will receive extensive TV coverage, showcasing Tees Valley and the North East to a global audience of millions.

The event has been staged three times – at Sunningdale in 2000, Druids Glen, Ireland, in 2002 and at Valencia’s El Saler course in 2003, where the Great Britain and Ireland team led by Colin Montgomerie won the trophy for the second time.

The next tournament at Wynyard will be staged at a date to be fixed between June and September 2005, subject to European PGA Tour approval.

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