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Dave Thomas to captain the PGA in 2001

Former Ryder Cup player Dave Thomas will be the captain of the Professional Golfers' Association in the year 2001, during the PGA's centenary celebrations. and in 2002.

The nomination for 64-year-old Thomas caps a successful and distinguished professional career - off the course as well as on it - since his election to the PGA in October 1950.

Dave Thomas achieved success over the spectrum of the game which started in 1949 as an assistant to becoming a tour playing professional, club professional, golf course designer and architect.

As an international golfer Dave Thomas was a member of the Ryder Cup team in 1959, 1963, 1965 and 1967; represented Wales in the World Cup in 1969 and 1970 and the Double Diamond Internationals in 1972. Another notable achievement among many was winning the PGA News of the World Matchplay Championship at Turnberry in 1973.

Thomas was twice close to winning the Open Championship. He was runner-up in 1958 when he tied with Peter Thomson at Royal Lytham but lost the play-off and 1966 finished just behind Jack Nicklaus, for which was awarded the Braid Taylor Memorial Medal.

Sandy Jones, chief executive of the PGA commented: "Dave Thomas is a one-off and totally unique individual in the game and there is no better person to fulfil such an important role during such a significant year in the history of the PGA. We are delighted to have such a highly respected member for our Captain during our centenary. His appointment will be a fitting tribute and just reward to one of the finest professionals in the game who has given so many golfers and spectators much pleasure over the last 50 years."

In 1994 he was made an honorary member of the PGA and has more recently designed the PGA National course and the new Brabazon course at The Belfry which plays host to the 2001 Ryder Cup during the PGA's centenary year.

Dave Thomas will appointed as Captain Elect on March 29th at the PGA National agm which is being held at Hanbury Manor Golf & Country Club. Alan Walker will be the PGA captain from April 1st this year and for the year 2000.

Speaking about his appointment Thomas said, "To be captain of the PGA is one of the greatest honours of our profession. However, to be captain during the centenary celebrations and for the 2001 Ryder Cup at the course you designed is just the ultimate on top of a wonderful career in the game. I'm therefore extremely thrilled and feel highly privileged."

He now resides in Spain but provides an active consultancy role to Dave Thomas Ltd advising its portfolio of global clients throughout Europe and the world.

Dave Thomas Ltd is based in Manchester and is run by his son, Paul Thomas, aged 38 who spent eight years on the PGA European Tour.