Cameron Smith is hoping to create history by becoming the first person in more than 100 years to win three consecutive Australian PGA Championship titles.
Smith has announced he will return to RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast to defend his crown at the 19-22 December tournament.
The 26-year-old says he is elated to come back to his home state to compete against a world class field, including former world no.1 Adam Scott, at one of the country’s most prestigious sporting events.
“I can’t wait to come back to the Gold Coast and play in front of a home crowd to try and win three Australian PGA Championships in a row. It would be the perfect way to wrap up my year,” Smith said.
The passionate Queenslander, who dons maroon on the final day of each tournament, is vying to become the first player since Aussie golf pioneer Dan Soutar to win the Joe Kirkwood Cup – Australia’s oldest pro golf trophy – three times in a row.
The Scotland-born Soutar won the inaugural Australian PGA Championship in 1905, then went on to claim the 1906 and 1907 titles.
“I’m eager to finish the year on a high by emulating the feats of one of the game’s legends,” he said.
“But it certainly won’t come easily. Every year the PGA Champs showcases our country’s incredibly talented crop of golfers, all who will be desperate to etch their names into the Joe Kirkwood Cup.”
PGA of Australia chief executive Gavin Kirkman expects the tens of thousands attending this year’s Australian PGA Championship to get behind Smith’s history-making pursuit.
“We are delighted Cameron has decided to return to our feature event. He’s a fan favourite who will have a lot of supporters cheering him on to become a triple winner of the Australian PGA Championship,” Mr Kirkman said.
“Cam is trying to do what some of the industry’s luminaries like Greg Norman, Kel Nagle and Robert Allenby were unable to do.
“A third consecutive victory at RACV Royal Pines Resort, one of Queensland’s finest golf courses, would put him in rarefied company.”
The Australian PGA Championship is a week-long festival of golf, with plenty of action-packed, family-friendly activities to entertain fans beyond the ropes.
The famous Gold Coast beaches will again be brought to the greens, with the Oakley Gold Coast Beach Club taking centre stage at the lucrative 16th hole, the home of the Soniq Million Dollar Hole (SMDH).
The SMDH is moving to Saturday this year where a group of lucky fans will have the opportunity to try their luck at hitting a hole-in-one on the par-3 hole to win $1 million.
The new take on the SMDH will elevate the hole to a new level, with amateur golfers integrated into to the field for their shot of a lifetime.
Queensland’s Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said high profile players, combined with activities like the Beach Club make the Australian PGA Championship unique.
“The Gold Coast is a world-class event host and golfing fans are able to combine watching some of the world’s best golfers while immersing themselves in the relaxed lifestyle of the Gold Coast,” Minister Jones said.
“The Australian PGA is a highlight on the state’s It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar, which supports events that generate $800 million in economic activity across the state.”
The players will be competing for AU$1.5 million in prizemoney, and as the Australian PGA Championship continues to co-sanction with the European Tour, players have the opportunity to earn valuable world ranking points early in the 2019/2020 season.
Channel 7 is the exclusive broadcast partner of the Australian PGA Championship, with the telecast set to beam to more than 100 million viewers around the world.
For more information, head to championship.pga.org.au.