Australian PGA going to the Gold Coast after Palmer row

David Champman at the Pat O'Driscoll / Tropical Auto Group Pro Am at the Capricorn Resort Golf Course. Photo Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin.
David Champman at the Pat O'Driscoll / Tropical Auto Group Pro Am at the Capricorn Resort Golf Course. Photo Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin. Chris Ison

THE Capricorn Coast has missed out on hosting the biggest golfing tournament for the next five years.

Capricornia took a swing at hosting the next PGA Championship when event organisers started looking for a new home for the tournament.

Event organisers had decided to relocate it from Palmer Coolum Resort, where the 2012 tournament is being held from December 13-16.

Organisers today announced the Gold Coast will host the golf tournament for the next five years.

The Sunshine Coast lost the event after a row between billionaire Clive Palmer and organisers involving signs and ongoing sponsorship. 

The dispute escalated when the resort put a giant dinosaur in between two prime holes.

Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey today welcomed the decision to hold the Championship at the RACV Royal Pines Resort at Benowa.

"I am pleased the organisers have been able to secure a new venue which will allow them to get on with planning for the 2013 tournament to be held later in the year," Ms Stuckey said.

"The Australian PGA Championship is the nation's oldest professional tournament and the Newman Government will continue supporting it through a renewed agreement with Tourism and Events Queensland.

"The tournament has grown to become a signature sporting experience on our major event calendar and we recognise the important contribution sports tourism makes to the Queensland economy.

"The Australian PGA Championship will showcase the Gold Coast to a national and international audience, with the event broadcast to more than 400 million homes throughout 40 countries.

"As we look toward the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, it is major international sporting events like this that showcase the Gold Coast as a premier event and holiday destination."

The 2013 tournament will mark the first time in more than a decade that the PGA Tour of Australasia has staged a major tournament on the Gold Coast, with event dates to be announced in the coming months.

The Capricorn PGA Bid Committee and Capricorn Enterprise would like to congratulate RACV Royal Pines on securing the Australian PGA Championships for 2013 and 2014.

The bid team gave the Capricorn Bid their very best shot and are immensely proud to have been in the top two destinations in the state to be considered for the event.

Bid Chairman Geoff Murphy said that for Capricorn to have turned the heads of a national event committee like we did is incredible - the feedback on the quality of the submission was overwhelmingly positive. 

"I sincerely pay tribute to Mr Iwasaki  and his team at Mercure Capricorn Resort Yeppoon for their exceptional support as our proposed host venue, along with the incredible support we received from Rockhampton Regional Council and Capricorn Enterprise.

"We look forward to maintaining our relationship with the PGA and hope that in the future, we will see the event come to our region " he said.

"In the end, it was a very close race. 

Capricorn has the capability to host an event of this size - our region has proven this time and again with Beef Australia; we have the sponsorship and partnerships available to support this scale of event, which was demonstrated in our bid; and we can certainly pull the crowds, with golf clubs and businesses throughout Central Queensland indicating they'd drive four hours or more to attend," he said.

Capricorn CEO Mary Carroll
Capricorn CEO Mary Carroll Trish Bowman

"We certainly can offer a high quality standard of golf in the region - the Capricorn Golf Championship Course at Mercure Capricorn Resort Yeppoon is rated in the top 25 in the whole nation and we had very strong support from Australia's golf pros to support this," Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll said.

"In the end, Capricorn didn't secure the event because our destination is still young and branding isn't as strong as major destinations like the Gold Coast. 

"We have, however, made the rest of Queensland stand up and take notice of what the regions are capable of." 

"We will continue to bid for major events to come to the region and now that we have Queensland's attention, we look forward to making Capricorn the state's regional events destination of choice," she said.

Topics:  gold coast pga

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