SINK, AND SWIM
JASON Norris made a real splash at Royal Pines yesterday. But not in a good way. Sick of putting his ball into the water, he decided to dunk himself into the drink as well.
After starting the day at even par, Norris had a horror day with two double-bogeys and two bogeys on the front nine.
The South Australian had three more bogeys on the back nine before he arrived at the par-three 16th hole that features the Oakley Gold Coast Beach Club corporate area, complete with a small pool.
He was eight-over for the day and hot under the collar so Norris jumped in the pool to cool everything down. Norris played the last three holes soaking wet and produced another bogey on the 17th before eventually — and mercifully — finishing with a nine-over 81.
FORMER Australian PGA chairman Peter O’Malley has certainly been around the traps.
O’Malley — a five-time winner on the Australasian tour and three-time winner in Europe — this week played his 500th tournament on the main or senior European Tour.
The Australian PGA is co-sanctioned by the European Tour so the 53-year-old was able to bring up the milestone on home soil.
ROYAL Queensland is angling to trump Royal Pines for hosting rights of the 2020 Australian PGA to celebrate the club’s centenary year.
Such a one-off move for a milestone of that magnitude at the state’s most historic club has an exciting vibe.
Royal Queensland has hosted three Australian Opens, including the great Arnold Palmer’s trophy swoop in 1996, but hasn’t hosted a top tournament since 2001.
Former Masters champion Adam Scott and rising star Cameron Smith, boldly bidding to defend his PGA title at Royal Pines, are both members of Royal Queensland and would be top targets for any tournament there.
The club’s website trumpets it as “Queensland’s premier golf club” yet the lack of tournament hosting has partly contributed to a drop to No.33 on Australian Golf Digest’s latest Top 100 Courses list for the nation.
The PGA of Australia has an excellent relationship with Royal Pines, which has invested about $10 million in the course upgrade that has made it the home of the tournament since 2013.