The Vic PGA and Gippsland Super 6 find new homes

Marcus Fraser. Photo: PGA of Australia

The Victorian PGA Championship and the Gippsland Super 6 – two important events on the PGA Tour of Australasia – have found new homes as golf fights back from the devastation of the covid pandemic.

Moonah Links Resort has signed on as host and major support partner of the Vic PGA for the next three years while defending champion Marcus Fraser will headline the 2021 Gippsland Super 6 at the championship’s new host venue at Warragul Country Club when it returns to its original November date on the tour schedule.

Stepping in to host the delayed 2020 Vic PGA in January amid the COVID-19 disruptions, Moonah Links will host the 2021 championship from November 4-7 across both the Open and Legends courses.

To be worth $137,500, the move will further strengthens the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia schedule and will serve as the ideal lead-in to both the Australian Open (November 25-28) and Australian PGA Championship (Dec 2-5).

As was the format earlier this year, the Legends Course will host the first two rounds of the championship with the Peter Thomson-designed Open Course – host to the 2003 and 2005 Australian Opens – to determine the champion over the final two rounds.

“Moonah Links occupies an important place in tournament golf in this country and we’re thrilled that it will host an ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia event for at least the next three years,” said PGA of Australia Tournaments Director Australasia, Nick Dastey.

“During a difficult time for tournament golf Moonah Links stepped in and hosted back-to-back events earlier this year, giving our Tour Professionals a safe environment in which to showcase their skills.

“They are two outstanding golf courses, the facilities are world-class and the format of the tournament will ensure professionals and amateurs alike get to experience all Moonah Links has to offer.

“The Open Course has also hosted the Final Stage of our Qualifying School since 2017 so this further solidifies what is an already very strong relationship between the PGA of Australia and Moonah Links.”

The Victorian PGA Celebrity Amateur Classic will again take place in conjunction with the Vic PGA which will give amateur golfers the unique opportunity to participate in a fully-sanctioned PGA Tour of Australasia event on two championship golf courses.

The field will be made up of 92 professionals who will pair with 92 amateurs (including leading celebrities) with the top 25 amateurs to make the cut and the top eight getting to play all four rounds.

“Moonah Links will always have a special place in my heart and I can’t wait to get back and defend my title in November,” said 2020 champion Chris Wood.

“Playing across two very different but equally challenging golf courses is unique in itself and with the history associated with Moonah Links I feel very fortunate that it was the site of my maiden PGA Tour of Australasia title.”

Host also to the Nationwide Tour’s Moonah Classic from 2008-2010, Moonah Links General Manager Sasha Han is thrilled that Australia’s best players will once again make an annual pilgrimage to the Mornington Peninsula.

“We firmly believe that Moonah Links provides the best professionals with a wonderful test and we’re excited to welcome them back to Moonah Links later this year and for the next three years,” Mr Han said.

“We were thrilled to step in and serve as hosts at relatively short notice in January and we promise players and fans an even greater experience when they return in November.

“Moonah Links has proven itself to be a world-class tournament venue and we hope to help raise the standing of the Victorian PGA Championship even further over the next three years.”

The 2021 Victorian PGA Championship will feature a live weekend television broadcast.

Gippsland Super 6

After two years at the Yallourn Golf Club – including a 2020 event that was delayed until January 2021 due to COVID-19 – Warragul Country Club in the Baw Baw Shire will host the Gippsland Super 6 tournament from November 11-14 in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.

The innovative format will see 132 players tee it up on the Thursday with the top 50 and ties to make the 36-hole cut.

After 54 holes, the top 24 will advance to the final round of match play on the Sunday.

Defending Champion Marcus Fraser finished third at the Gippsland BMW Warragul Country Club Pro-Am won by Tim Hart and Andrew Martin earlier this year and believes it will stand up to the test as an ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia tournament venue.

“I thoroughly enjoyed playing Yallourn at the start of the year but it’s always exciting as a player to head to a new venue,” said Fraser, a three-time winner on the European Tour.

“I didn’t quite get over the line at the Warragul Pro-Am but I was very impressed by the golf course and the officials at the club and sponsors put on a wonderful event.

“I’ve got no doubt that the Gippsland Super 6 will continue to be a success at Warragul Country Club and hopefully I’ll be one of the two players left to contest the final late on Sunday.”

Found just over an hour south-east of Melbourne, Warragul Country Club is a parkland course with gentle undulation changes and club Chair Kaye Rollinson says the club is excited to welcome the country’s best players.

“We’re very proud of the Pro-Am that we have hosted in recent years which will continue in early 2022 but there is an extra level of excitement in stepping up to host the Gippsland Super 6 as part of the 2021/2022 PGA Tour of Australasia schedule,” Rollinson said.

“I know our membership will be thrilled that their course will be showcased in such a manner and that they will see some of Australia’s best players test their games on the course the members play week after week.”

In conjunction with the four-day tournament for the professionals, the Gippsland Super 6 has a number of fantastic community engagement events staged at various venues in the lead-up and during tournament week.

There will be multiple Junior Masterclass sessions, Junior Pro-Am, Junior mentoring session with leading professionals, Caddy Kids where local juniors can caddy for professionals during the pro-am, the Gippsland Super 6 Amateur Tournament where local amateurs of all handicaps can play a shortened one-day version of the tournament, pre-event tournament pro-am, Championship Dinner with entertainment with the final Sunday to serve as Family Day.

Warragul has a great history in producing successful professional golfers with the likes of David Iwasaki-Smith, Jason Dawes and current PGA TOUR player, Cameron Percy, starting their golf journey at the club.

PGA of Australia Tournaments Director Australasia Nick Dastey hopes this event will inspire the next generation to also aspire to the professional ranks.

“Yallourn Golf Club did a fantastic job hosting the first Gippsland Super 6 events and encouraged strong junior engagement that will have left a lasting memory for all the kids involved,” said Dastey.

“Providing young golf fans with the chance to see their heroes in person has a lasting impact on their passion and interest in the game and we are very excited that this event will continue to provide that vehicle through our junior masterclass sessions throughout Gippsland and with our new hosts at Warragul Country Club.

“The Gippsland region has produced a number of outstanding players over the years and golf fans will be treated to a very strong field at Warragul Country Club in November.

“We’d love to think that a future winner of the Gippsland Super 6 may have been inspired to follow their dreams after attending this year’s event.”

Total prizemoney for the Gippsland Super 6 will be $137,500 and entry for general spectators is free.

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