THE 2009 NSW OPEN could have a major profile boost with suggestions today that organisers are attempting to lure Greg Norman to the event.
It has just been announced the NSW Open will be staged immediately prior to the Australian Open, an event the Shark has just committed to play for the next three years.
As well as the convenient timing and the opportunity it would provide as a warm up, the state open is being played at the Vintage Golf Club at Pokolbin, a course the Shark designed himself.
In a media release today spruiking the stepping up of the NSW Open to the newly rejuvenated PGA Tour of Australasia, organisers provocatively asked: “The question is – can Norman be lured back to the NSW Open and the fabulous Vintage course he designed in the Hunter?”
In the release, NSW Golf Association’s CEO and NSW Open Tournament Director, Greg Mills, said the organisation was working closely with the PGA to attract some of the sport’s big names.
“Spectators this year will not be disappointed with the quality of the field. Having the NSW Open back to back with the Australian Open is a real coup for Hunter sport and tourism,” Mills said.
“Our continuing partnership with the Greg Norman designed Vintage Golf Course provides the perfect backdrop and a great test for our best players who will vie for our flagship event and the national title, in just two weeks of championship golf,” he said.
“The NSW Open continues to grow in stature on our major circuit is a joint venture between the NSW Golf Association, the PGA of Australia and The Vintage with important backing from Events NSW.”
“Many of golf’s elite players have their name on the trophy including Greg Norman who has just committed to support the Australian Open and Events NSW for the next three years.”
The NSW tournament, with a rich 78 years of tradition, will be played from November 26 to 29. The Australian Open will be played at the NSW Golf Club from December 3 to 6.
The organisers say a unique feature of the NSW Open is the Team Challenge Pro-Am format, which allows amateurs the tremendous opportunity to play alongside the leading professionals throughout the last 36 holes of the Championship itself.
The Vintage Golf Club’s owners, John Stevens and Don Panoz are delighted their venue will once again host the event where the golfing public can see the talents of some of Australia’s best golfers on one their highly ranked NSW course.
Stevens and Panoz have recently announced that construction has commenced on their $40 million luxury hotel and destination spa complex at The Vintage.