countdown continues to the Isuzu Queensland Open at Brisbane Golf Club (Oct 20-23) with players set to shoot for the ultimate “risk and reward” prize on the 265m, 15th hole.
Brisbane Golf Club professional and Director of Golf, Joe Janison, expects the short par-4 will entice most players to chance their hand at the $500,000 hole-in-one bonanza.
“I would think a lot would have a go,’’ he said. “They are pretty accurate with their drivers these days.
“Unless there is a severe headwind I’d imagine the majority of the field would be trying for the green on the Saturday and Sunday.
“It should be pretty exciting for spectators in that corner of the course.’’
The 15th usually plays around 305m but will be shortened by about 40m on the Saturday and Sunday of the Open when the half-million prize is up for grabs.
Janison expects most players will tackle the 15th more conservatively on the opening two days of the tournament, taking four of five-iron from the tee to leave a wedge to the green. But he expects fireworks on the weekend when the big money beckons.
Golf Queensland chairman Peter Castrisos confirmed amateurs in the field would be eligible for the massive cash prize without jeopardising their amateur status.
“There is provision in the rules for amateurs to accept a hole-in-one prize such as this,’’ he said.
Prize sponsor Windsor Income Protection said the first player to hole-in-one on the Saturday or Sunday of the event would collect $400,000 with a further $100,000 going to the Queensland Golf Foundation.
The Queensland Golf Foundation works to increase the number of people playing golf through implementing initiatives for children, women and clubs.
Only one $500,000 hole-in-one prize has previously been won in Australia.
Nathan Green, who contested last year’s Queensland Open at Brookwater, aced the 161m, 12th hole at Huntingdale during the 2001 Australian Masters to kickstart a career which included a victory on the US PGA Tour.
Green also achieved another memorable hole-in-one on the 16th at Augusta National during the 2010 US Masters.
Brisbane Golf Club will be hosting its first Queensland Open since Stuart Appleby prevailed as an amateur 25 years ago.
The club has a rich history having been the venue for the inaugural Open in 1925, first Queensland Amateur Champion (1900) and initial Queensland PGA Championship (1926).
Reigning Queensland Open champion David Bransdon, who won at Brookwater after a dramatic three-hole playoff against Rohan Blizard, will return to defend.
On a dramatic final day, Blizard had called a one-stroke penalty on himself when leading the tournament. In a fine show of sportsmanship, Blizard believed his ball had moved minutely on the 12th hole after he had removed a leaf.
The New South Welshman immediately called a rules official and advised he had called the penalty which ultimately cost him the tournament.