THE Australian summer of tournament golf is beginning to take shape with the announcement Wednesday that Royal Melbourne Golf Club will host the 2013 Australian Masters.
It will be the first time the iconic sandbelt venue will host the Masters, and comes in the tournament’s 35th year.
The renowned Royal Melbourne composite course layout will certainly be an added drawcard for players – and spectators for that matter – and comes in a year when changes to the US PGA Tour schedule might make things that more difficult for Australian tournament organisers to attract high class talent.
Australian Masters event owner and promoter, IMG, used Wednesday’s announcement to reaffirmed its commitment to bring at least three of the top 25 players in the Official World Golf Rankings to play the event.
“The Royal Melbourne Golf Club has a rich history of hosting major tournaments. We are delighted to have the opportunity to welcome the Australian Masters for the first time and to seeing a top class field test itself on our famous composite course,” said Richard Allen, Captain of The Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
The Royal Melbourne composite course was most recently the venue for the 2011 Presidents Cup, back this year at Muirfield Village in the US.
So now we have the Australian Masters slotted in to Royal Melbourne from the 14 to 17 of November.
We recently had the PGA of Australia announce a new venue for the 2013 Australian PGA Championship, following the unruly shenanigans at the Palmer Coolum Resort last year. That will be at the Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast, and is traditionally the last golfing event of the year held in latish December.
Between the two somewhere will be the 2013 Australian Open at a yet to be officially announced Sydney venue. Unusually, we had the official announcement last week that the redesigned Australian Golf Club in Sydney would be the venue for the 2014 Australian Open (that was all to do with the flying visit to Sydney of one Jack Nicklaus. There is an excellent story on the golfing great’s Australian visit by former SMH golfer writer Peter Stone here).
We spoke with Australian Open organiser, Golf Australia, on Wednesday and they foreshadowed an imminent announcement about the Sydney 2013 venue.
There’s nothing official yet but word at the Open at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney last year (where the Open was due to leave after three very successful years) was that Royal Sydney at Rose Bay would be getting the nod.