Australian Masters adopts venue rotation
BY iseekgolf.com | Australasian PGA Tour | 2008 Australian Masters | General | 24 Oct 2008
The 2008 Australian Masters will again be played at the Huntingdale Golf Club and will mark the 30th anniversary of the tournament. It will also mark a key chapter in shaping the future of the event.
The Australian Masters has entered into a strategic partnership with the Victorian Government to grow the event in Melbourne over the next three years.
In a series of announcements, the Australian Masters will adopt a venue rotation policy starting in 2009 to showcase the finest golf courses on the famed Melbourne sandbelt.
In 2009 and 2010 the event will also deliver at least three international players within the top 25 of the Official World Golf Rankings to complement the outstanding Australian talent.
David Rollo, Vice President IMG commented: “We have a vision to grow the event via world class talent in arguably the greatest sporting city in the world. While this is not an overnight process there will be a quantum shift in the event in 2009 and 2010.”
“We are hugely appreciative of the support of the Victorian Government in helping to realise this vision and look forward to partnering with them in building a major event asset in Melbourne.”
“We would also like to thank the Huntingdale Golf Club. Not only for the huge contribution they have made to the Masters since 1979 but also for their understanding and support of our decision to adopt a venue rotation from next year.”
Speaking at the launch of the 2008 Australian Masters, Victorian Minister for Sport, Recreation and Youth Affairs, James Merlino said that Melbourne’s world class golf courses, the capacity of major golf events to deliver strong economic and promotional benefits to the State and the capacity of IMG to produce a world class golf event provided an ideal fit with Victoria’s Major Event strategy.
“Golf and Melbourne are a perfect pairing.”
“Melbourne is home to several of the finest golf courses in the world, it enjoys an international reputation for delivering outstanding golf tournaments such as the 1998 Presidents Cup and is recognised as the world’s leading sports city,” said Minister Merlino.
The 2008 Australian Masters will again be co-sanctioned with the PGA Tour of Australasia and European Tour and will mark the third event of the recently announced Race to Dubai. In addition to 22 hours live coverage with the Seven Network, the event will attract in excess of 850 hours of international coverage to over 380 million homes worldwide.
Ben Sellenger, Commissioner Tour Division, commented: “The Australian Masters has held a long and esteemed tradition as an integral part of the Australasian Tour and it is a great boost for the Masters to feature as one of the first events of The Race to Dubai schedule. The new direction for the Masters will ensure its future as a major attraction on the Australian sporting calendar.”
The field is shaping up strongly and in addition to Stuart Appleby who attended today’s announcements, former champions Robert Allenby, Craig Parry and 2005 US Open winner Michael Campbell have all committed to return to Huntingdale along with Nick O’Hern, John Senden and Rod Pampling.
In addition, two time representative on the International Team at The Presidents Cup, a past winner of the Scottish Open and dual winner of his national championship, world #37 from South Africa, Tim Clark, will play the Australian Masters for the first time. Tim will be joined by last year’s runner-up and winner of the 2008 Mercedes Championship, Sweden’s Daniel Chopra.
2008 US Amateur Champion, Danny Lee, has also accepted an invitation to play the Australian Masters. In August Danny became the youngest ever winner of the US Amateur breaking Tiger Woods’ record by six months.