THE lead up to the Australian PGA Championship has become a bit of a circus unfortunately with dinosaurs and fairway ads for the titanic and whatnot seizing the attention.
All that will hopefully end when play gets underway early Thursday at the Palmer Coolum Resort on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
Sadly, after several happy years and because of all the nonsense this will be the last time the event is held at Coolum, with suggestions it will move to the Gold Coast next year.
Officially, the PGA says negotiations with the resort company, owned by billionaire mining magnate Clive Palmer, broke down.
The PGA have received assurances the dinosaur – which is situated between the ninth and tenth tees and apparently makes a noise and wags its tail – will be switched off during the event, and they have also instituted a local rule treating the 61 advertising signs painted on fairways as GUR.
Newly crowned Australian Open Champion Peter Senior perhaps put it best when asked if the signs and dinosaur worried him.
”It [the dinosaur] doesn’t worry me as long as it doesn’t crap everywhere,” Senior said.
Clearly, there is a problem with crap somewhere.
As for the golf, Senior’s battling win in atrocious conditions at The Lakes last Sunday have shifted at least some of the attention to the chance of him repeating his 1989 effort of winning both titles.
He’s in field that includes visiting Northern Irishman Darren Clarke (who has now largely finished his 2011 British Open win celebrations and could be a bigger factor this year), Greg Norman, John Senden, Geoff Ogilvy, Robert Allenby and defending champion Greg Chalmers.
Senior likes the course and also won the title here in 2003 and 2010 but was being coy about his chances this week saying he didn’t recommend a bet.
“I don’t know about that, I think you better keep your money in your pockets, lightning doesn’t strike in the same place twice,” he told his media conference.
But the 53 year old Queenslander is an obvious contender.
“Coolum has been a good hunting ground for me and I’ve played pretty well here over the last few years and won twice around here,” he said. “It’s a course where the longer hitters don’t have a great advantage, it’s more about placement and if I can putt as I did last week, who knows.”
Allenby and Ogilvy, who reports suggested came to blows in the village here last year over a Presidents Cup falling out, have strangely been paired together for the first two days.
Maybe that’s another way of taking attention away from the dinosaur.
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