24th PGA CUP MATCHES
Gary Alliss, The Belfry head professional will lead the team for the 24th staging of the matches against the United States which are being held at The Carrick at The De Vere Deluxe Resort Cameron House on the banks of Loch Lomond in September 2009.
Alliss, whose side came within half a point of making history with a first ever victory in the United States last September, is only the fourth man to captain the team twice since the tournament’s inception in 1973.
The 53-year-old, who receives a PGA Master Professional award at Royal Birkdale on the eve of the Open, admitted he was stunned to be given the opportunity to lead the team for a second time in what is the equivalent of the club professionals’ Ryder Cup.
“When I was asked if I would captain the team again you could have knocked me down with a feather,” said Alliss.
“I know very few have done it twice so to have the continued backing of the PGA executive and the people involved in putting me forward is an honour.”
Alliss will be in charge of a 10-man team, whose make-up will be decided via qualification from the 2008 and 2009 Glenmuir PGA Professional Championship.
And having come so close to being the first man to lead a GB&I team to victory on American soil following their 12.5 to 13.5 defeat, Alliss is eager to regain the trophy, which had been won by his grandfather Percy and donated to the PGA by his father Peter, the BBC’s ‘voice of golf’.
“I was driven when I got the captaincy last year but having tasted the bitter defeat having been so close I’m even more determined to win it back,” he said.
“With the experience of last year I’m looking to learn from that both in the run up to the match and during it, to give us a real chance, especially as we’re on home soil next time.
“Obviously I don’t know the make up of my team yet and I might have 10 different players to those I had last time but it would be good to have some experienced faces in the team.”
PGA chairman Phil Weaver expressed the executive committee’s delight at being able to offer Alliss a second chance.
“Following the closeness and excitement of the match at Reynolds Plantation Georgia it is fitting and apt that Gary gets another chance,” said Weaver.
“He was an extremely popular and competent captain and displayed all the qualities you would hope for in leading a Great Britain and Ireland team.
“The executive committee is delighted to invite Gary to retain the captaincy and endeavour to regain the Llandudno Trophy at The Carrick at Cameron House.
“I’m sure he has the full support of all the members and we wish him every success.”
Find out more about the PGA Cup on http://www.pga.info/PGACup.aspx