Optical Express Tour Joins Forces with Scottish PGA
The PGA in Scotland is to manage the Optical Express Tour in 2012 with six dates on the schedule, giving rookie professionals the chance to compete on a regular basis on the Tartan Tour.
The Optical Express Tour was set up in 2010 by PGA professionals Alan Tait and Nigel Scott-Smith, to give aspiring young Scottish golfers more competitive playing opportunities.
Optical Express came on board in 2011 and having administered the tour themselves for the past two seasons, Tait and Scott-Smith are now handing over the reins to the PGA, who will incorporate the Tour into its 2012 schedule.
For the coming season, there will be six "Optical Express" events, which will form an important part of the 2012 PGA in Scotland Order of Merit.
Continuing the ethos of the original Tour, non-PGA professionals and elite amateurs will still be able to play in these tournaments, but will not be able to gain points for the PGA Order of Merit.
It means EuroPro Tour players like John Gallagher and Zack Saltman, as well as rookie professionals such as Michael Stewart, David Law and Ross Kellett – all recent graduates from the SGU ranks - will be able to compete with the likes of Tartan Tour players, Greig Hutcheon and Scott Henderson.
In making the announcement, Michael MacDougall, the Secretary of the PGA in Scotland, said: "I'm aware that there have been rumours circulating for some time regarding our involvement in the Optical Express Tour and I'm very pleased to confirm that our discussions have had a positive outcome and we will be incorporating this into our schedule.
"Alan and Nigel developed an initial relationship with Optical Express and now pass over a product that has tremendous potential.
"It promises to be an exciting time ahead, and we are looking forward to building and developing the Tour into an even more successful one in years to come, in conjunction with David Moulsdale and his team at Optical Express."
David Moulsdale, CEO and chairman of Optical Express, commented: "Optical Express is delighted to support the next generation of Scottish golfers and hope this Tour can deliver the next Paul Lawrie, Sandy Lyle, Sam Torrance or Colin Montgomerie."
The first event will be a 54-hole tournament at Dundonald on April 11-13 with the remaining five events to be played over 36 holes throughout the season.
Full schedule and venues:
April 11-13: Dundonald Links (54 Holes)