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Tartan Tour needs backer for flagship tournament

THE Scottish Professional Golf championship will again be the Tartan Tour's flagship tournament in 1999, when Colin Gillies will have the chance to defend the title over the same course as last year, Newmachar, near Aberdeen,Scotland.

Scheduled for the week of the US PGA championship (Aug 11-15), the tournament is still without a sponsor but Scottish Region secretary Peter Lloyd will continue his search within the country's business community for financial support.

"As everyone knows, sport has not been immune to the economic downturn of the last 18 months or so," he said, "but I'm surprised that a tournament with the history of our national championship has so far failed to attract a sponsor.

"Regardless of whether we find commercial assistance or not, the championship will definitely go ahead."

No such uncertainty surrounds the continued sponsorship of one of the Scottish Region's most loyal supporters, Sunderland, the Glasgow-based rainwear manufacturers.

Their 72-hole Sunderland of Scotland Masters will be held for the 14th year again at Cawder, where European Tour veteran Mike Miller won last year on his home course.

The Atlantic Power Northern Open moves to Nairn Dunbar, where the club will be celebrating its centenary.

And completing the Order of Merit events will be the Montrose Links 54-hole tournament, now in its third year of a successful pro-am format. Defending will be former Scottish champion Gordon Law (Uphall).

In addition, the three-day Scottish Pro-Am Tournament at Carnoustie takes on added significance being played 11 weeks after the Open championship returns to the Angus course for the first time since 1975.

Scotland's assistants have a full programme of tournaments, offering prize money of around 50,000. Their national championship will again be played at Balbirnie Park near Glenrothes and a new venue, Eastwood, near Newton Mearns, will host a 54-hole event in mid-August.

Tartan Tour Dates

TARTAN TOUR: May 26-28: Atlantic Power Northern Open, Nairn Dunbar. June 23-25 Sunderland of Scotland Masters, Cawder. July 24-26: Montrose Links Trust 54-hole Tournament, Montrose. Aug 11-13: Scottish Ch'ship, Newmachar. Assistants: May 17-19: Scottish Ch'ship, Balbirnie Park. Aug 18-20: Eastwood 54-hole Tournament, Eastwood. Sept 13-15: Highland Assistants 36-hole T'ment, Inverness. Sept 26-28: Royal Dornoch 36-hole T'ment, Dornoch. Oct 13-15: Autumn Classic (72-holes), Kilspindie.

  • To fill the vacancies created by the departures of Ewan Mordaunt to the PGA headquarters and Johnnie Cole-Hamilton to the R&A as rules assistant, the Scottish Region have appointed two new tournament controllers.

    Craig Skimming, 23, a seven-handicap golfer at Troon Welbeck and Garry Ormsby, 22, who plays off nine at East Kilbride, officially joined the staff yesterday.

TW6/1/99