Darren Clarke to Headline Australian PGA
In a major coup for organisers of the Australian PGA, British Open winner Darren Clarke has announced that he will play in the Coolum event in November.
After becoming the first Northern Irishman to win the British Open, Clarke has now set his sights on creating another first for the nation at the Australian PGA.
“Knowing that I could be the first Irishman to win the Australian PGA will be in the back of my mind when I come to play and I hope that I have plenty of fellow Irishman there to cheer me on,” Clarke said.
“I have heard great things about Queensland and the course at Coolum so I am looking forward to playing golf in more warm conditions than I am used to and also testing my game on a different style course to that of a links.
“Irish golfers are enjoying lots of success of late and hopefully I can continue this trend, my game is in great shape and I look forward to capping off a great year in Australia.”
Clarke is another top golfer who has committed to playing in the PGA, after Bubba Watson, Jason Day and former world number one Greg Norman also indicated that they would attend.
CEO of the Australian PGA Brian Thorburn said that this year was shaping as one of the biggest in the history of the PGA Tour of Australasia.
“With the stellar fields for the Australian Open and PGA Championship, the world’s best here for the Presidents Cup and the PGA of Australia celebrating its centenary in 2011 it’s a huge year for golf and I am very pleased that Darren Clarke is able to come and experience Australian golf at its finest,” Thorburn seed.
“I am even more pleased for Queensland and Australian golf fans who will be able to see the Open champion play in their own backyard. I am sure this is something that will excite them all.”
In other good news for Australian golf, Thorburn also announced that the PGA Tour of Australasia’s state and regional tournaments will now count towards golfs official world rankings.
“This is a real win for our tournaments and most importantly our players for whom the PGA Tour of Australasia events act as springboards to other international tours,” Thorburn said.
“The awarding of points will now ensure these events have greater relevance internationally and will attract even higher quality fields. In addition, the allocation of points to these tournaments means that more of our members will have access into events such as the International Final Qualifying for the Open Championship.
“Australia continues to produce elite golfers at a rate second to no other country the world over and the addition of these world ranking points will certainly help us in our cause.”