2013 PGA Tour of Australasia begins

BY Bruce Young | Australasian PGA Tour | 2013 Turner Plumbing Victorian PGA Championship | Preview | 16 Jan 2013

The PGA Tour of Australasia begins its 2013 schedule this week when the Turner Plumbing Victorian PGA Championship is played at the Novotel Forest Resort at Creswick near Ballarat.

The tournament is being played for the second occasion at this venue having been won last year by New Zealander Gareth Paddison.

Paddison is in the field again this year and given that he played well enough to finish behind only Adam Scott and Ian Poulter at the Talisker Masters at Kingston Heath in November he deserves to be one of the favourites.

Other players of note in the field include the runner-up at the recent Australian PGA Championship Anthony Brown, Peter O’Malley, Matthew Griffin, Andre Stolz, Aaron Townsend, Kim Felton and two time Australian Masters Champion Bradley Hughes.

One intirguing addition to the field is that of Queenslander Wayne Perske. After two years out of the game, Perske says he is ready to get stuck into life on Tour, and hopes this week’s Turner Plumbing Victorian PGA Championship will set him on to the right path to continue his successful playing career.

Perkse was caught in possession of cocaine late in October of 2010 while playing the Japan Golf Tour and suffered a two year ban.

Perske, who pre-qualified for this week’s tournament, said the last two years have given him plenty of perspective, and he hopes to create some positives from what has been a regretful experience.

“It has been a little bit awkward being back here, a lot of the guys I don’t know but they know me. There are lots of new faces which is great, but the old faces have welcomed me back, so it’s a nice feeling to have some support,” Perske said today.

“The whole situation was a complete regret. I’d give my left arm to go back and play and have those opportunities again. But it is what it is, and I can’t take it back, so I just have to roll with it. But if I can turn it into a positive for someone else, then that’s great.

“My goal now is to try to mentor some young guys to give back to the game a little bit. I’d like to take some of the young guys aside at some time and start a mentoring program.”

The tournament carries prize-money of $130,000 with 19,500 to the winner.

This week’s tournament is followed by next week’s Lexus of Blackburn Heritage Classic at the Heritage Golf Club followed two days later by International Final Qualifying at Kingston Heath for the Open Championship.

In the final three weeks of February the next three events of the PGA Tour of Australasia’s schedule get under way in Toowoomba (QLD PGA), Barwon Heads, (Vic Open) Toowoomba (QLDPGA) and in Queenstown in NZ (the NZPGA Championship).

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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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