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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.
ABOUT THE AUSTRALIAN PGA CHAMPIONSHIP:
The Australian PGA Championship is one of the PGA of Australia’s flagship events co-sanctioned by the European Tour and ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
The tournament honour roll features an incredible list of past champions, including Cameron Smith (2017-18), Harold Varner III (2016) Adam Scott (2013) Greg Chalmers (2011, 2014), Peter Senior (2010) and Geoff Ogilvy (2008).
There is so much to enjoy beyond the world class action on the course. From the popular marquees lining the 16th hole, to the family-friendly golf activities positioned around the resort, the PGA Champs will keep all spectators entertained.
Children and budding golfers can participate in the MyGolf Kids Carnival and meet their heroes; take part in behind-the-scene tours; and even swing the clubs at the MyGolf hitting bays.
Additionally, fans can enjoy a range of gourmet food trucks lining the course, as well as roving entertainment.
The Australian PGA Championship will be #DoingItForJarrod during round two, with the tournament set to turn yellow to honour the memory of Jarrod Lyle. Yellow Day encourages fans and professionals to wear a splash of yellow on Friday, 20 December in support of Jarrod’s Gift, which raises funds to support kids and their families living with cancer.
The Australian PGA Championship week also includes the Greg Norman Medal, the highest individual honour for our men and women professional golfers.
General admission to the Australian PGA Championship is $25. Children (aged 16 and under) get in free with a paying adult.