EDINBURGH is set to stage its biggest golf tournament for some time after Royal Burgess was included on the PGA EuroPro Tour fixture list this year.
The third-tier circuit, where the likes of major winners Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel cut their competitive teeth in the paid ranks, is heading to the Barnton course in July.
One of four Scottish events on the 2014 schedule, it will mark a welcome return of Tour action to the oldest golfing society in the world. Royal Burgess was once a regular host to such events, having staged tournaments such as the Swallow/Penfold, Pringle, Martini and the Scottish Professional Championship.
An event on the European Tour, the 1956 Swallow-Penfold was won there by Eric Lester while the current course record of 63 was established by Paul Leonard in the Martini Tournament in 1973. More than 40 years on, Leonard’s effort is still listed among the European Tour’s top scoring statistics, his round having contained three eagles and five birdies.
The 54-hole event from July 16-18 – the same week as The Open at Hoylake on Merseyside – is one of 15 on the 2014 PGA EuroPro Tour schedule.
It will feature a mix of new recruits to the professional ranks and seasoned performers either still trying to climb the ladder or bidding to reignite careers.
Ironically, Duddingston-based John Gallagher, a regular on the PGA EuroPro Tour since leaving the amateur ranks, will be focusing on the Alps Tour instead this year. But the likes of Archerfield’s Elliot Saltman, his younger brother Zack and Craigielaw’s Shaun McAllister are all likely to get at least one event this season where they’ll be able to sleep in their own bed.
In addition to South African duo Oosthuizen and Schwartzel, Englishman Ross Fisher and Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts both used the circuit as Ryder Cup stepping stones. Others to graduate to the European Tour after playing on the PGA EuroPro Tour include Scottish stars Marc Warren and Scott Jamieson. Their compatriot, Paul Lawrie, welcomed the news that Royal Burgess, Montrose Links, The Carrick on Loch Lomond and Mar Hall are all staging events on the 2014 schedule. “Fantastic news,” wrote the former Open champion on Twitter.