Sydney based professional Alex Edge will tee it up in this week’s Invest Samoa Open with the added pressure of trying to defend his title as the Ladbrokes Pro-Am Series and Ladbrokes Legends Tour combine at Royal Samoa Country Club.

Richard Blackwell Alex EdgeEdge broke through for his maiden tournament and Ladbrokes Pro-Am Series victory in 2018, beating Queenslander Michael Wright in a sudden death playoff.

“I’m excited to be defending the title,” said Edge. “I’m sure there will be some nerves but I’m feeling good about my game and looking forward to it.”

Edge will face a tough field in Apia, Samoa with a host of quality players set to compete including last year’s runner-up Michael Wright and multiple Samoa Open winner Peter Wilson.

Wilson was the last professional to win at the Royal Samoa Country Club, claiming the 2016 title with a three-round total of 13-under.

In the Samoa Senior Open, Queensland’s Richard Backwell will be looking to keep his impeccable Samoan record intact, having won four of the past five stagings.

“I really enjoy coming to Samoa and always seem to play well here, maybe it’s the relaxed atmosphere, I don’t quite know,” said Blackwell.

For Backwell to claim a fifth title he will need to beat the current Ladbrokes Legends Order of Merit leader, Michael Harwood.

Interestingly it is Harwood’s first trip back to Samoa since winning the Samoa Open in the early 1980s.

In 2019 the Samoa National Amateur Golf Championships will be held in conjunction with the professional competition, giving leading players the chance to compete for a place in the upcoming South Pacific Games.

“This is a great initiative by Samoa Golf Incorporated,” explains PGA Australia Senior State Manager David Barker.

“Whilst the tournaments provide a great opportunity for our members, the main purpose of the tournament is to enhance and promote golf in the region through elite player development and mass participation.”

As part of the tournament, PGA of Australia officials also gave a rules presentation to amateur golfers outlining the changes made to the rules in 2019 and general situations which may arise on South Pacific Golf Courses.

The Invest Samoa Open and Invest Samoa Senior Open will be played over 54 holes with round one beginning on Wednesday 26 June at Royal Samoa Golf Club.