Big-name PGA Tour players Adam Scott, Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith won’t make it home for January’s delayed instalment of the Australian PGA Championship in Brisbane.
But organisers are confident Australians playing on every other circuit, including the PGA’s US feeder Korn Ferry Tour, will be free to return as the domestic scene again shows signs of life.
Last year’s tournament, as well as the past two men’s and women’s Australian Opens, have been among the mass of events cancelled due to COVID-19.
But Brisbane’s Royal Queensland Golf Course will host the PGA Championship from January 13-16, alongside the inaugural Australian WPGA Championship.
Scottish Open winner Min Woo Lee and former US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy have been confirmed for the event, which was due to replace Gold Coast’s Royal Pines as the host course last year.
“I can’t wait to get home and to play in front of Aussie fans again,” Lee said.
“Winning my first professional event at the Vic Open last year gave me a lot of confidence and the crowds at Thirteenth Beach were just amazing.
“I’ve got no doubt that given the difficulty in staging tournaments the past 18 months we’ll see massive galleries at Royal Queensland and the inclusion of the girls adds another element that I’m sure the fans will enjoy.”
PGA of Australia chairman Rogder Davis said the cooperation between the Australian men’s and women’s PGA bosses Gavin Kirkman and Karen Lunn had been vital to the rebirth of their calendar.
“We’ve rescheduled it to allow us to get the guys from Japan and Europe and the Korn Ferry Tour guys back,” he said.
“The main US tour guys won’t be here but we’re trying to do everything we can within reason to (assemble a quality field) and it’s looking very positive.
“And I am sure, with the 24 girls out here, playing on an unbelievable course, you’ll get huge crowds (watching them).”