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A record number of golfers will compete this year in a prestigious Pro-Am tournament which is re-launching with new headline sponsors.

The Highland Golf Links 54-Hole Pro-Am Sponsored by Blue Group will be held for the first time with new backers from 26-28 September over three world class links courses.

Pro Am Push

Already 268 golfers in 67 teams from across the UK, the US and Switzerland have committed to playing in the Tartan Tour event – a rise of more than 20 per cent on last year.

They will compete on successive days at 2016 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open venue Castle Stuart Golf Links; Royal Dornoch Golf Club, which hosts the Northern Open in June; and The Nairn Golf Club, which will stage the Men’s Home Internationals tournament in August.

Blue Group, who supply world leading material handling equipment for the quarrying and waste recycling industries, agreed a three-year deal in December with Highland Golf Links (HGL) to support the Pro-Am.

The event, which currently boasts a professional prize fund of £40,000, is open to teams of four players from anywhere in the world consisting of three amateurs (ladies or gentlemen) plus a professional of their choice. Teams that do not include a pro are allocated a leading player from the PGA Scotland Order of Merit.

The contest is held over the three renowned courses which are all members of HGL, a partnership that promotes Play and Stay golfing breaks in the Highlands of Scotland.

The Pro-Am is estimated to generate about £200,000 for the Highland economy, with other HGL partners – the Kingsmills Hotel and Culloden House Hotel, Inverness and the Royal Golf Hotel in Dornoch – all benefiting from late-season bookings.

Fraser Cromarty, chairman of HGL, said:

Since its inception in 2013, the Pro-Am has grown steadily in popularity. This year, the involvement of Blue has helped stimulate new interest in the event and demand for places has now reached record levels.

We are very excited by this new sponsorship agreement with Blue which can help us take the Pro-Am to the next level.

Blue Group director Austin Carey said:

We are delighted that we will have record numbers taking part in our first year as headline sponsor of this fantastic event. I’m sure it will be another great week at three magnificent links courses when the group and our clients will strengthen our association with Highland Golf Links.

The Pro-Am has grown steadily over the years and we look forward to building on its success and developing it even further over the next three years.