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Golf News: - Posted 6th January 1998

Seniors get a boost from new sponsor

London - The European Seniors Tour will have a new event this year, the Golden Charter PGA Scottish Seniors Open Championship.

The tournament, to be played over the championship (East) course at the Marriott Dalmahoy Hotel from September 3-6, will have a prize fund of 150,000, one of the top purses on the European Seniors Tour.

And the emphasis is on quality. Ten former Ryder Cup players are eligible to be in the line-up - Tommy Horton, Malcolm Gregson, Antonio Garrido, Maurice Bembridge, Jose-Maria Canizares, Brian Waites, Guy Hunt, Brian Huggett, Neil Coles, who won the Senior Service Tournament at Dalmahoy in 1962, and Scotland's Norman Wood.

Another home player sure of the crowd's support will be North Berwick's David Huish, whose first professional tournament was over the Dalmahoy course.

But the 56-year-old Horton is the man to beat in European seniors' competition. Three times a winner of the money list, the Jersey professional picked up a record 158,427 in 1997, and his seven-year haul of senior winnings - just under 500,000 - is more than twice his earnings during 35 years on the regular European tour.

The field of around 100 will line up on Thursday, September 3, following a qualifying round on the Monday and a pro-am on the Wednesday.

The sponsors, Golden Charter, are Britain's biggest funeral planning network.

Chief executive Gordon Kee said the company, in its first major sports sponsorship, were pleased to be associated with the PGA in Scotland and the European Seniors Tour, and with a game that was playing a bigger part in people's leisure time.

Brian Anderson, the host club's director of golf said: "All renovations to bunkers and drainage are well ahead of schedule. I'm sure many in the field will be making welcome return visits to us and I'm certain they'll like what they see."

Sandy Jones, executive director of the PGA, said: "The early September date means the PGA has two exciting weeks of seniors golf back-to-back."

Andy Stubbs, European Seniors Tour managing director, said: "We're pleased to be maintaining the Tour's presence in Scotland after the successful Scottish Seniors Open at Newmachar Golf Club.

"Dalmahoy has always boasted excellent facilities as well as huge support from spectators.

"New sponsors are always welcome, and Golden Charter's input helps ensure the success of the 1998 tour, which will have prize money of around 2.5million with up to 20 tournaments."