LowFuelcard.ie to sponsor Irish PGA at Dundalk
 From left to right: Brian Owens, Dundalk GC; Michael McCumiskey, Secretary PGA in Ireland; and Joe Barrett, Chief Operations Officer, Applegreen plc.

From left to right: Brian Owens, Dundalk GC; Michael McCumiskey, Secretary PGA in Ireland; and Joe Barrett, Chief Operations Officer, Applegreen plc.

LowFuelcard.ie will sponsor the Irish PGA Championship at Dundalk Golf Club from October 1-4.

The card is a new product offer by forecourt retailer Applegreen plc and while no figures have been released for what is initially a one-year deal with the Irish Region of the PGA, it is believed to be €30,000 with an option for further years.

The prize fund for last year's event at Adare Manor was €29,450 and it is expected to remain at that level this year.

PGA in Ireland Secretary, Michael McCumiskey said: “This new sponsorship agreement is an important development for this historic championship. The PGA in Ireland looks forward to building a strong partnership with Applegreen over the coming years.”

Applegreen plc is the number one motorway service area operator by number of sites in the Republic of Ireland and has a growing presence in the UK.

The Group had 152 sites as of late December 2014 with 96 in the Republic of Ireland. 54 in the UK and four on Long Island in the USA.

Joe Barrett, Chief Operations Officer for Applegreen plc said; “We are delighted to be involved with this national event which engages with businesses in the locality.

"Applegreen have recently opened a motorway services area (MSA) at Templepatrick on the M2 outside Belfast and are currently building another MSA on the M1 south bound just outside Lisburn.

"Applegreen already has a significant business presence on the M1 at Castlebellingham, Lusk, Balbriggan and Gormanston.” 

Dundalk Golf Cub has hosted the Irish PGA Championship on two previous occasions. In 1953, Harry Bradshaw collected his eighth title with a four round total of 272 and in 1969, Jimmy Martin won with a score of 269.

Redesigned by Peter Alliss and Dave Thomas in 1980, extensive improvements have been carried out to the 6,826-yard course over the last 18 months.

A number of new bunkers have been added but the main focus has been on redesigning and improving the drainage of the existing green side traps. A tree-thinning process has also opened up the sixth and 15th greens to the elements.

Last year's Irish PGA Championship at Adare Manor Golf Club was won by Royal Dublin's Niall Kearney, who birdied the 18th to edge out Derry's Michael McGeady and pocked a cheque for €3,500.