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Ladies tour backed by Lawrie and PGA

Paul Lawrie Golf Centre continues support of women’s circuit as it returns for second season

TWO-TIME Ryder Cup player and former Open champion Paul Lawrie is giving his support to the Ladies Tartan Tour once again this year after it was brought under the umbrella of the PGA in Scotland.

The move sees the organisation become the first of the Professional Golfers Association’s seven regions to run both its men’s and women’s professional circuit.

Brian Mair, the secretary of the PGA in Scotland, announced the move, saying: “We are committed to providing all our members with professional, competitive playing opportunities throughout the country and we very much look forward to supporting ladies golf during 2014 and beyond.

“This move represents an important step in our quest to promote the game to all sectors of the community and to reach as wide an audience as possible.”

Nicola Melville was one of the driving forces behind the tour and will continue this year as its director.

She said: “We are delighted to have the sponsorship from the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre and look forward to working with the PGA in Scotland to support ladies golf.”

This year’s schedule comprises five 36-hole strokeplay events, each taking place over two days, at high-profile Scottish venues: Fairmont St Andrews, Murcar Links, Dundonald Links, Macdonald Cardrona and Marriott Dalmahoy. Each will have a prize fund of £6,000.

It was Lawrie’s idea to make the tournaments on the Ladies Tartan Tour 36-hole events as opposed to the 18-hole shootouts they were last year. He believes this will help give those taking part more experience of tournament golf.

“We want to provide a platform for the lady pros and amateurs to prepare for the day when they tackle Q School and beyond by getting them used to playing two-round tournaments,” he said.

“There’s nothing wrong with 18-hole events but a different mindset is required by a player for competitions over two rounds or more. That is one of the reasons why I started the Paul Lawrie Invitational on the men’s Tartan Tour.”

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