PERTH will be home to Australia’s richest golf tournament from October next year, when the inaugural Perth International Golf Championship is played at Lake Karrinyup Country Club from 18-21 October, 2012.
The tournament will be co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia and the European Tour.
Announcing the US$2 million Perth International Golf Championship this week, Western Australian Tourism Minister Dr Kim Hames said the tournament would attract some of the world’s best golfers.
“Perth has a strong history of hosting successful international golf events, notably the Heineken Classic, Johnnie Walker Classic and the Lexus Cup, and this tournament will well and truly put the city back on the golfing map,” Dr Hames said.
“The Perth International is a joint initiative of Eventscorp and International Management Group (IMG) to bring another major international golf event to Perth.
“IMG will be the owner and promoter of the tournament, which will be sanctioned by the European Tour and the PGA Tour of Australasia. The European Tour is currently experiencing unprecedented success and boasts the top four ranked golf players in world.
“We have a three-year agreement for this tournament with options to continue, and our goal is to develop the Perth International into a feature event in the Asia Pacific region that is anchored in Perth,” the Minister said.
In a media release today the Australian PGA said the new Perth tournament, along with Tuesday’s launch of the new NZ PGA Pro-am Championship, was a major momentum boost and followed on from one of the biggest seasons of Australian golf in decades.
The PGA said with the two new events prizemoney on the Tour will increase by at least AU$2.3 million or 41 percent in 2012 but it is hoped that this is just the start of things to come.
“Over the last month Australian golf has showcased our best courses, the world’s best players and made big inroads to securing additional corporate support. Next week’s JBWere Masters will culminate an incredible year and we are very optimistic that we can keep this momentum going into 2012,” Brian Thorburn, CEO of the PGA said.
Key to the strategy will be in securing more ‘big names’ to play in Australasian Tour events.
“We have already had great interest from a number of high profile players for 2012. While we can’t compete for prizemoney with the likes of the PGA TOUR and the European Tour, we certainly have a reputation for world class golf courses and our tournament hospitality- Darren Clarke was a great example of that this year at Coolum.”
The 2012 PGA Tour of Australasia schedule will kick off in the first week of January at Spring Valley Golf Club with the innovative Victorian Open which will be run concurrently with the Women’s Victorian Open.
The following week, on the 10th and 11th January, Kingston Heath Golf Club will once again play host to the 36-hole International Final Qualifying (IFQ) where three coveted positions into the British Open Championship will be up for grabs.
A few weeks later the Victorian PGA Championship will be held from 16-19 February and will be played for the first time at the Novotel Forest Resort, Creswick.