By Basil Naimet.
The summer of golf hots up this week with the Australian PGA championship to be played at the RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, December 11-14.
This year’s event will see some 80 Australian golfers taking part. Players from 13 different countries, including; China, Korea, Thailand, Canada and Argentina will also take centre stage at the refurbished RACV Royal Pines Resort.
AmericansBoo Weekley, Scott Stalling and Zimbabwe’s Brendon De Jong will also be taking their place on course, as will the recently turned professional Cameron Smith. Smith, who turned pro in 2013, has performed well on the Asian Tour this year and is currently fourth on the Asian Tour of Merit with nine starts in 2014.
World number three Adam Scott finished fifth at the Australian Open last month. He sat behind Greg Chalmers, Brett Rumford and Rod Pampling respectively on the leader board and will also take to the field with the trio. Pampling, the best of the Aussies, finished five shots behind the eventual winner Jordan Spieth.
But there are others who could also be in for a big chance of claiming part of the $1million that’s up for grabs. Marc Leishman and John Senden have both had a successful year in the US and are coming into the PGA on a run of good form.
A special mention must go to Victorian Jarrod Lyle. The Aussie has twice fought and twice defeated Leukaemia and is expected to take to the field this weekend.
Earlier this year he finished tied 31st in the frys.com Open in California where fellow Aussie Steven Bowditch (who will also play in the Australian PGA) was runner up to Korean Sang-Moon Bae.
Lyle told golf.com that he looked forward to playing in the Australian summer where the crowds were always supportive.
And as for coverage of the event, Channel Seven will be covering it with millions expected to be tuning in.
A spokesperson for the tournament said the Australasian tour covered the Asia Pacific region, and as a consequence, the reach was potentially enormous.
“The Australian PGA Championship will be broadcast through Channel 7 and internationally through the OneAsia broadcast platform. The OneAsia platform extends to the wider Asia-Pacific region and has a potential reach of over 400 million homes across 40 countries.”