NZ's Cusdin wins Sunshine Tour OOM
BY PGA of Australia | 12 Oct 2013
New Zealand professional Jim Cusdin has celebrated a golden year on the Queensland Sunshine Tour taking out 2012/13 Order of Merit title in a year where the Queensland Sunshine Tour celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Cusdin recorded two wins during the season at the Middlemount and Casino Pro Ams, though it would be his consistency with 18 top 10’s that would lead him to a 59 point victory over his closest rival in the Order of Merit race, Henry Epstein.
It has been a year that has set up Cusdin for the next few months, where he aims to gain his Asian Tour card at qualifying school in January. “I would like to thank all of the clubs who staged events on the QLD Sunshine Tour this year, not to mention all of the amateurs who I played with knowing that each and every one of them have contributed to this win in one way or another.
“On a personal note though, I would like to thank my sponsors, Sam Sullivan from Bridgestone in New Zealand and Chris Grace from New World Te-Rapa who have played a large part in my success this year, with this win not being achievable without their support.”
“It has been a tight battle with Henry Epstein this year and one I am far better from having. The Order of Merit prize this year will go a long way to helping me secure my Asian Tour card in the coming months.”
The Queensland Sunshine Tour not only celebrated its 50th anniversary, professionals also competed for record prizemoney, with more than $1.5 million being played for across 49 tournaments. The Queensland Sunshine Tour also set a record with the largest Pro Am ever to be played in Australia, with another kiwi in Ryan Fox taking out the $200,000 Jeep Pro Am.
Players again travelled as far north as Townsville, west as Emerald and south as Yamba on the North Coast of New South Wales, though certainly one of the major highlights of the year came from the two tournaments played in Papua New Guinea. Professionals played for almost $250,000 in prizemoney across two events, and with the impact that golf is having in this country, the two tournaments look set to grow into the future.
The Queensland Sunshine Tour, which forms part of the Choice Hotels PGA Pro Am Series, will take two months off before returning for the $60,000 Bartons/BMD Pro Am to be played at the Wynnum Golf Club in December. The priority for many of the professionals including both Cusdin and Epstein are the PGA Tour of Australia events being played over the coming weeks. Good performances at these events will go a long way to securing their Australasian and One Asia Tour cards.
The QLD Sunshine Tour forms part of the Choice Hotels PGA Pro-Am Series which comprises of 200 events Australia wide and the PGA is proud to have the City of Mackay Open as part to the Tour’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.
Played across more than 170 golf courses around Australia the Choice Hotels PGA Pro-Am Series plays an important part in the development of Australia’s Professional Golfers whilst also growing the game at a grass roots level by engaging an estimated 48,000 amateur golfers each year.