THE PGA of Australia has released a new look “Summer of Golf” schedule for 2009 and a “refreshed” PGA Tour of Australasia brand that includes the consolidation of its major events with the support cast from its secondary Von Nida Tour.
The 2009 “Summer of Golf” will see the staging of seven events in six weeks, including the expansion of the Down Under Nationwide Tour swing to three events with the addition of the Michael Hill New Zealand Open, the return of the Johnnie Walker Classic to Perth, and the Victorian Open and Victorian PGA Championship launching new naming sponsors.
The serious Australian summer golf season begins soon with the Victorian Government-backed $1.5 million Australian Masters at Huntingdale from November 27 to December 3.
It continues with the Australian PGA Championship at Coolum from December 4 to 7 and then the $1.6 million Australian Open at Royal Sydney from December 11 to 14.
The new look summer PGA Tour of Australasia Tour will kick off on January 29 at Spring Valley Golf Club for the revitalised Subaru Victorian Open, before heading back to Sanctuary Lakes Resort for the Cellarbrations Victorian PGA Championship.
From there the Australasian Tour heads back across the continent for the prestigious tri sanctioned Johnnie Walker Classic. From February 19 – 22 Perth will host the event at The Vines for the second time. It was last held in Perth in 2006 where American Kevin Stadler eagled the final hole to win by two shots from Aussie Nick O’Hern.
The Johnnie Walker Classic, boasting a prize purse of US$2.5million, attracts some of the best names in world golf, and in 2009 will be headlined by the return of the Great White Shark, Greg Norman, to lead a stellar Australian contingent against some of the world’s best including England’s Lee Westwood and Paul Casey.
The Tour then moves back across to the East Coast for the first of the swing of three Nationwide Tour co-sanctioned events, the Moonah Classic, which will return after a memorable debut in 2008.
A week later the Tour travels across the Tasman to the beautiful Clearwater Resort in Christchurch for the HSBC New Zealand PGA Championship.
In a further coup for the Australasian Tour, the Michael Hill New Zealand Open was announced as the third Nationwide Tour co-sanctioned event Down Under, joining the Moonah Classic and the HSBC NZ PGA Championship. A new date for the NZ Open sees it move from December to February allowing players to compete in three Nationwide Tour events to start the year.
2009 PGA TOUR OF AUSTRALASIA SUMMER SCHEDULE
Jan 26 – Feb 1, Subaru Victorian Open, Spring Valley Golf Club, VIC, $110,000
Feb 2 – 8, Cellarbrations Victorian PGA Championship, Sanctuary Lakes Resort, Sanctuary Lakes, VIC, $110,000
Feb 10 IFQ for THE OPEN Championship, Kingston Heath GC, Melbourne, Victoria
Feb 16 – 22, Johnnie Walker Classic, The Vines Golf Club, Perth, WA, US$2.5 million.
Feb 23 – Mar 1 , Moonah Classic, Moonah Links Golf Club, Fingal, VIC, US$700,000
March 2 – 7, HSBC NZ PGA Championship, Clearwater Resort & Golf Club, Christchurch, New Zealand, US$600,000
March 8 – 14, Michael Hill NZ Open, The Hills Golf Club, Queenstown, New Zealand, US$600,000