The Australian PGA Championship will get underway Thursday morning at the Palmer Coolum Resort on the Sunshine Coast near Brisbane. 2011 champion Greg Chalmers will defend his title in what will most likely be the last time this tournament is played at this venue. A dispute between tournament organizers and resort management will likely force the Australian PGA to relocate the contest to a different golf course next year.
Signage and the life sized Tyrannosaurus Rex appears to to be at the center of the dispute. PGA Officials don’t like the dinosaur, and Resort officials, and billionaire owner Clive Coolum are not impressed with the some 60 signs that are painted on the grass. Australian Open champion Peter Senior has said the dinosaur doesn’t bother him, as long as it doesn’t crap all over the fairways.
The Palmer Coolum Resort Golf Course was designed by renowned golf course designer Robert Trent Jones Jr, and plays to a par of 72. Is is 6137 meters which is just a shade over 6700 yards.
Greg Chalmers won his second tournament in a row last year, in preparation for the 2011 Presidents Cup. He finished at -12 under par. Peter Senior won in 2010 with an identical score. Nick O’Hearn blistered the course in 2006 with a -22 under par 266 total.
Two time British Open Champion Greg Norman will be making the trip to his homeland for this tournament. The Shark will tee it up with four Americans competing when action kicks off on Thursday morning. Jason Kang, Garrett Sapp, Kee-dae Lee, and Will Yanigasawa. Norman was the last back to back winner in 1984, and 1985.
Australian Open Champ Peter Senior has won this event three times, 2010, 2003, and 1989 . Three time US Open Champ, Hale Irwin won the tournament in 1979, but it was played at The Royal Melbourne Golf Course in those days.
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