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Tartan Tour Order of Merit tees off

The 2016 Tartan Tour Order of Merit campaign is set to swing into action in East Lothian later this month.

For the second year in a row, the 54-hole P&H Championship is taking place at the spectacular Renaissance Club on ‘Scotland’s Golf Coast’ on May 23-25. Last year’s event produced a well-deserved victory for Largs-based Paul Robinson (pictured) with a seven-under-par 206 total.

This will be the event’s third staging, having been won by Robert Arnott from Bishopbriggs Golf Range at Dundonald Links in 2014. The second event on the 2016 Order of Merit schedule will be the Northern Open as it returns to Royal Dornoch on June 21-24 – the event is part of the club’s celebrations to mark 400 years of golf at the renowned Sutherland venue.

Chris Kelly defends that title after winning the 2015 event at Cruden Bay with a 13-under-par total of 267.

The inaugural staging of this tournament proved a huge success last summer at North Berwick, where the five qualifiers included local amateur Calum Hill. Craig Sutherland, who was born in Orkney but is now based in Kent, won it, with Tartan Tour trio Gareth Wright, Greig Hutcheon and Graham Fox the others who progressed to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Gullane.

PGA in Scotland secretary Shona Malcolm said: “The priority this year was to enhance the quality of the Order of Merit events, providing playing opportunities for PGA members at some of the best and most challenging venues in the country while presenting attractive prize funds. There’s no doubt that this year’s tournaments do just that, and we’ll be aiming to use this as a platform to grow the Tartan Tour in terms of the number and variety of events in future seasons.

“The Tartan Tour has become increasingly competitive in recent years, and its strength in depth means that there will be many players ready to have a tilt at Chris Kelly’s Order of Merit title. The standard of play is top class, and I’d encourage golf fans throughout Scotland to come along to the events to watch the golf, support the national tour and engage with Scottish professional golfers.”

2016 Order of Merit events

  • May 23-25 P&H Championship, The Renaissance
  • June 21-24 Northern Open, Royal Dornoch
  • July 2-3 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Qualifier, Moray
  • Aug 2-3 Deer Park Masters
  • Aug 27-28 Kerr Investments Pro-Am, Dumfries & Galloway
  • Oct 17-20 Gleneagles Scottish PGA Championship, King’s Course