EDINBURGH-BASED Gareth Wright is gunning for glory in the final professional event to be held at Gleneagles before the Ryder Cup.
The Scottish PGA Championship gets underway on the King’s Course on Monday – less than five months before Europe take on the USA on the neighbouring PGA Centenary Course. It’s the Tartan Tour’s flagship event and Wright could be forgiven for thinking it owes him big time after twice finishing runner-up in recent years.
Last year, when it was held later in the season, the West Linton player held a four-shot lead going into the final round only to be pipped for the title by Greig Hutcheon. “I would love to go one better and I do love it up at Gleneagles so it would be a great start to the season,” said Wright. “It would also give me a great boost before I go to Turkey next weekend to play a Challenge Tour event there the following week.”
Most of Wright’s rivals in the 72-hole event warmed up by playing in this week’s inaugural P&H Championship at Dundonald Links. The Welshman missed that due to the fact he’s been on holiday in Florida and will head to Gleneagles almost straight from the airport.
“I’ve been over here for two weeks for a holiday combined with some practice and fly back in on Saturday,” he said.
“I haven’t played anything since last season but my game feels like it is in great shape and I’m itching to get going now. Hopefully I can put my practice into some good play.”
Also aiming to land a £9,000 pay-day next Wednesday is Wright’s fellow Capital-based player Neil Fenwick.
He had to come through one of the qualifiers at Crieff last week but showed his liking for Gleneagles when making the cut in last year’s Johnnie Walker Championship.
Other Lothians players in action in Perthshire include former PGA champion Andrew Oldcorn (Kings Acre), Alistair Brown (Archerfield Links), Jonnie Cliff (Murrayfield), David Patrick (Kingsfield) and Norman Huguet (Musselburgh).
Uphall’s Gordon Law joins a clutch of former winners, including defending champion Hutcheon, in the line-up.