Finland hosts European Amateur Championships 2010
Linna Golf, Europe’s best new course and a member of the PGA European Tour Courses group, has been selected to host the European Amateur Championships in 2010.
The majestic 6,624m (7,224 yard) layout opened for play in 2006 and cuts through birch and pine forest bordering a 7km long lake on the historic Vanajan Linna Hotel estate, 100km north of Helsinki. Mika Walkamo, President of Linna Golf, said: “Linna Golf was built to host top-class tournaments. The award of the most prestigious amateur individual championship in European golf is a sign that Linna’s potential as a tournament venue is already being recognised.”
The 72-hole amateur strokeplay event is the European Golf Association’s premier individual championship, and past winners include Sergio Garcia, US PGA Tour player Carl Petterson and European Tour player Gregory Havret.
Linna Golf’s touring professional Mikko Ilonen became the first Finn to win on the PGA European Tour at the 2007 Indonesia Open. His win created international excitement around golf in Finland, and later this year, Linna Golf will host the Finnish Open, in association with the Finnish Golf Union, from July 12-16, as part of the Nordic League of satellite tours that feed the Challenge Tour and main European Tour.
The winner of the 72-hole strokeplay tournament automatically qualifies for the Scandinavian Masters on the European Tour in August, and Linna hopes that this will attract big name Scandinavian players to compete in the tournament.
“The Finnish Open is a great opportunity for us to gain experience in managing and running professional tournaments, and it is our goal to be able to offer a great package to host a full European Tour event by 2011,” added Mika Walkamo.
Linna has already begun negotiations to host a Challenge Tour event in 2008, and believes that the arrival of top-class tournament golf to Finland will drive the popularity of the game and increase the number of Finns participating.
“Finland has only 120,000 golfers whereas Sweden has 600,000, but with Mikko Ilonen’s European Tour success and top-class tournament golf coming to Linna, we expect to close the gap quickly,” said Mika Walkamo.