Some of the biggest names in the sport will battle it out on the Gold Coast this week for the oldest trophy in Australian professional golf.
A stacked field — including defending champion and World Number 2 Adam Scott, US stars Boo Weekley and Scott Stallings, Zimbabwe’s Brendon de Jonge, and Australian favourites John Senden, Robert Allenby, Greg Chalmers, Craig Parry, Peter Lonard, Daniel Popovic, Steven Bowditch, Marc Leishman and Brendan Jones — will compete for the Kirkwood Cup at the Australian PGA Championship, to be played at the RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast this week.
This will be the second consecutive year the Australian PGA Championship will be played at Royal Pines, which boasts a course designed by leading architect Graham Marsh, after 11 years at the Hyatt Coolum on the Sunshine Coast.
“It’s a quality field,” says Brisbane’s John Senden, who’s currently ranked 49th in the Official World Golf Rankings. “All the big names in Australian golf will be there. The Australian PGA Championship is a classic event on the calendar. It dates back 100 years! So it’d be a great event to win, and a real feather in the cap for any Australian golfer. It’d be unbelievable. It’s a big event, and it’s going to be a real spectacle for the Gold Coast and for the Australian golf industry.”
Senden, a product of Keperra Golf Club, won his second US PGA Tour title earlier this year (a one-stroke victory over Kevin Na at Florida’s Valspar Championship). The win qualified him for the Masters in Augusta, where he finished tied for eighth place. Senden’s other career highlights include a win at the Australian Open in 2006, a top five finish at the US PGA Championship in 2007 and a top 10 finish at the US Open in 2012. But a win at the Australian PGA Championship in Queensland would mean something special to him.
“It’s always nice to play in your home state,” he admits. “Queensland weather is always warm and windy, and the Gold Coast is very accommodating for people to come out and watch. It always adds a little bit of flavour when you can play in front of your friends and family. Sometimes it works in your favour, and sometimes it doesn’t, but I’ve always loved playing in Queensland. It’s home.”
Australian PGA CEO Brian Thorburn says the highly competitive field at this year’s event reflects the strides being taken by Australian golfers all around the world.
“The depth of Australian golf talent competing around the world is immense,” says Thorburn.
“We are very proud that so many of our players will be returning home to contest the Australian PGA Championship. I believe we have assembled a very strong field full of Aussie talent which will provide a memorable week of golf for sports fans.”
The 2014 Australian PGA Championship will be played at RACV Royal Pines Resort from Thursday 11 December to Sunday 14 December. Members of RACV, RACQ, NRMA, RAASA, RACWA, RACT, RANT and NZAA will receive a 50 per cent discount off the standard PGA gate price when they show their membership card during Championship week.
Tickets are on sale at ticketek.com.au, with children 16 years and under admitted free when accompanied by a paying adult.
Friday 12 December will see the Australian PGA Championship turn Purple, the representative colour of Pancreatic Cancer, for Purple Day. Wear something purple to heighten awareness and support the crucial work the Foundation carries out!
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