Australia launches world first “Twenty20” inspired prime time golf tournament

Stuart Appleby a likely starter

IN a claimed world first, Australian golf has announced a new shortened “Twenty20” inspired golf tournament to be broadcast on prime time television.

The PGA of Australia launched the new concept today saying it would be an event the likes of which had never before been seen on any major tour in the world.

To be played at The Sands Torquay in Victoria from January 20-23, 2011, the Surf Coast Knockout has been scheduled as part of the 2011 PGA Tour of Australasia and has already been supported by a host of top players.

In an international first, the first three rounds of the Surf Coast Knockout will be contested under stroke play conditions, while the winner will ultimately be decided on Sunday by a reduced match play format.

The match play will be played over six holes only, with tied matches set to be decided by a ‘knockout hole.’

The event will be televised to an international audience live on both Network Ten and OneHD.

In another first, the PGA has scheduled the tournament to finish in twilight hours, meaning the semi-finals and final will be broadcast live during prime time television.

“The Surf Coast Knockout is a unique format that will challenge the traditional way in which golf tournaments are played and broadcast,” Max Garske, CEO of the PGA of Australia, said today.

“This exciting concept will take a shortened version of the game live on the final day to millions of viewers both in Australia and overseas, engaging a new golf audience, at the same time showcasing the magnificent Victorian Bellarine Peninsula.”

A full PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit event, the event has already gained substantial support from a host of marquee tournament players, the Victorian Government and tourism bodies.

Peter Lonard, Craig Parry, Peter Senior, Peter O’Malley, Paul Sheehan, Scott Laycock, Stephen Leaney, Andrew Tschudin, Anthony Brown and The Sands Torquay course designer, Stuart Appleby, are among those to have already expressing interest in playing in the event.

The format in brief:

  • The field size for the Surf Coast Knockout will be 132 (min) which will include a maximum of 20 amateurs.
  • The event is a full PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit event.
  • Rounds 1-3 will be strokeplay.
  • The fourth and final round will be contested under match play conditions.
  • Two cuts will be made during the tournament (a first for the PGA Tour of Australasia).
  • The first cut will be made after 36 holes (to 50 + ties).
  • The second will be made after 54 holes (to 32).
  • The fourth round (match play) will be 16 matches played over 6 holes.
  • A proportion of prize money will be paid to the top 5 following 54 holes.
  • The remainder of the prize money will be paid following Sunday’s final results. 


The Surf Coast Knockout will be played at The Sands Torquay from January 20-23 with the pre-event festivities to kick off from Monday 17th January. The PGA’s broadcast partner Network 10 will broadcast the Surf Coast Classic on Sunday 23rd January live from 12.00pm – 5.00pm on Network 10, and from 12.00pm – 7.00pm on OneHD.

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Brian is an award winning golf writer and is the founder and editor of Australian Senior Golfer. He is a former Sydney journalist who had little interest in golf till he hit his first ball at the age of 49 (and a half). Since then golf has just about overtaken his life. Brian founded ASG in April 2008 and has since covered every Australian Open, Presidents Cups, World Cups and numerous other big men’s and women’s tournaments, spending days inside the ropes with the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Tom Watson, Fred Couples, Greg Norman, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Karrie Webb, and many others. He has also played in, and reported on, numerous amateur tournaments, particularly senior and veteran events, around the country. Brian is a member of the Australian Golf Media Association and won the award for Best News Report for 2016 - 2017

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