SOME of the region’s best golfers are set to visit Papua New Guinea in April, after the South Pacific Export Radler PNG Open was formally added to the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Tour of Australasia.
The PGA Tour is the elite tournament destination for professional golf in Australia, New Zealand and across the South Pacific, with a total prize pool of over A$8.5 million.
Adding the PNG Open to the Tour after many years of success as a pro-am event will see the tour expand into a fifth country – with tournaments also to be played in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and New Caledonia.
To be played at the Royal Port Moresby Golf Club, which successfully hosted the Pacific Games in 2015, Tour Professionals will be competing for a minimum of A$140,000 and Official World Golf Ranking Points when they tee off from 21-24 April.
PGA of Australia chief executive Brian Thorburn said he was delighted to have the PNG Open join the tour schedule.
“Its elevation to the Tour sees the prize money become official on the PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit, the application of Official World Ranking Points and as such it is expected the tournament will receive a boost in the strength of field competing for the title,” he said.
“The PGA Tour of Australasia continues to grow and offer Tour Professionals opportunities to compete in quality tournaments.”
The event will also be the third National Open on the PGA Tour of Australasia’s schedule with the BMW ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open and Emirates Australian Open to also be contested in 2016.
It follows the Coca-Cola Queensland PGA championship in March, which was won by German golfer David Klein.
From Papua New Guinea the PGA Tour of Australasia will travel to Western Australia for the Nexus Risk Group TSA WA Open to be played from 28 April – 1 May with the TX Civil and Logistics WA PGA Championship being played in Kalgoorlie from 12-15 May.