Headliners Cameron Smith and Adam Scott have been paired together in a breakfast tee-time super-group to ignite the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship.
Australia’s two most recent major winners will join in-form Kiwi Ryan Fox on the 10th tee to launch the tournament in style at 6am (AEST) on Thursday.
Tournament organisers have been visionary and will be rewarded with a huge gallery for the feature group. Rather than simply cross fingers and hope the two marquee names in the field play their way into a dream weekend pairing, they have created the group every golf fan is craving.
The huge upside is Open champion Smith and Scott, the 2013 Masters winner, will also be going shot for shot on Friday afternoon’s broadcast coverage of the second round through the Nine Network, Foxtel, Kayo and Spark Sport (NZ).
The Smith-Scott double-act has only been made possible by the lustre of the field. If the field had less star-power, Smith and Scott would have been on opposite sides of the draw, one playing early and the other featuring for TV in the afternoon.
The morning field is loaded because the 6.10am group to follow will feature defending champion Jed Morgan on his home course, PGA Tour star Cam Davis and rising Danish talent Rasmus Hojgaard.
The afternoon session has massive star-power of its own for a tournament which has a real buzz. When corporate facilities were sold out, more were created. Advance ticket sales are way up on the January staging at the same course and more grandstand seating has been built.
At 11am (AEST), the popular Marc Leishman, young gun Min Woo Lee and Poland’s Irish Open champion Adrian Meronk will tee off on the first.
In the 11.10am slot, former US Open winner Geoff Ogilvy has been grouped with Victoria’s world No.55 Lucas Herbert and Western Australian Jason Scrivener.
Scott had a wry smile about the early tee time but has been accepting that no daylight saving in his home state always throws this curveball at PGA time.
“Playing with Cam and Ryan is great for me. Playing at 6am is… OK. It’s what happens at the PGA when it’s in Queensland,” Scott said with good humour.
Click here for the full field draw for Thursday’s first round of the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship.