Perske returns to tournament golf

BY Bruce Young | 14 Jan 2013

It might have only been qualifying for a Tier 2 event on the PGA Tour of Australasia but the effort by Brisbane golfer Wayne Perske to play his way into the field for this week’s Turner Plumbing Victorian PGA Championship at the Forest Resort in Creswick signals a huge step for the 38 year old.

Two years ago Perske was banned by the Japan Golf Tour after he was caught in possession of cocaine towards the end of a horror season.

Rather than battle against the appeal process and try and get playing rights elsewhere, Perske walked away from the game and the profession he loved but had come to despise as he battled depression and other issues while plying his trade on the Japan Tour.

Two years later and after a successful stint in real estate, the desire to play professionally again began to return and Perske looked ahead to the PGA Tour of Australasia’s Tour School to see if he could regain his playing rights.

He started well there with an opening round of 68 but fell away in the wind and the heat of day two. The lack of tournament play counted against him and so he was forced to consider the prospect of pre-qualifying for State based championships including this week’s Victorian PGA.

The prospect of going through the long process of playing his way into such events did not faze him.

“I’m just happy to play a tourney. I don’t care the what the prize money is!,” he added perhaps referring to the fact that most of the events he played during his six years on the Japan Golf Tour carried prize-money of between 1 and 2 million Australian dollars.

“I’m very happy right now,” said Perske after comfortably making the grade at qualifying at the Buninyong Golf Club. “It feels great. I’m just looking forward to doing what I do!”

The last tournament Perske played was in October of 2010. After missing the cut there he was found in possession of cocaine at a bar in Chiba, an action that was brought on by the circumstances of the time but one he now realises the stupidity of and the penalty he has had to pay.

“I’ve been punished for an offence that carries a stigma with it and I am not happy about what that means,” he said at the time referring to an action he regretted immediately.

Perske has shown a capacity to win first up. It is perhaps worth noting that he won his very first event as a professional when winning a Development Tour event in Tamworth in 2000 and won his first event as a full cardholder on the Japan Tour when winning the Token Homemate Cup in 2006.

In talking with him however Perske has no expectations this week but rather he is just delighted to be back playing the game he loves and that he is being given another chance to do just that.

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    About the Author: Bruce Young

    A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of the game comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.


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