GARETH WRIGHT is hoping to be a European Tour player next season but first he’s aiming to tame the Americans in the club pros’ equivalent of the Ryder Cup.
The Edinburgh-based 31-year-old is amongst an entitre team of ten rookies in Great Britain & Ireland’s side for the PGA Cup starting tomorrow at the Slaley Hall resort in Northumberland.
The biennial bout was last won by GB&I in 2005, when former Duddingston pro Jim Farmer was at the helm.
But a change in the qualification process has allowed the current captain, former Tartan Tour No. 1 Russell Weir, to head into the latest clash with the strongest side possible.
“I know on paper this year’s team is made up of rookies, but in reality it is a fantastic team with an incredible amount of experience,” said Wright.
“We have a great chance of winning as long as we can hole the key putts at the right time. Most of the team have already played at Slaley Hall so hopefully that can give us a bit of an edge.
“It’s going to be great to play for the team and to play for my country. It will be an honour.”
Wright, who is attached to West Linton, qualified for this year’s Open at Muirfield, played a practice round with Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood then made the cut on his debut in the event.
He also played in all four rounds at Gleneagles in the Johnnie Walker Championship and is through to the second stage of the European Tour Qualifying School.
“You learn every time you play a tournament and there is no bigger stage than The Open – It really was an invaluable experience,” he added.
“I played with Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood on the Wednesday, and you learn a lot just from being around them.
“I feel like I’ve taken a lot of confidence from the experience, I’ve been playing steadily over the last few weeks and I’m looking forward to the challenge of the PGA Cup.”
Joining him in the home ranks for the three-day event are three fellow Tartan Tour players – Greig Hutcheon, Scott Henderson and Graham Fox.
“The last time I played team golf was in 2005 when I played for Wales in the European Team Championships,” recalled Wright.
“But aside from the match play format there aren’t too many differences, it’s all about holing your key putts and having the ability to change matches. ”