Exciting news for Golf in the Top End with the Northern Territory PGA Championship remaining a fixture on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia for at least the next two years, thanks to commitments shown to the event by the Northern Territory Government.
The Government recently announced they would be committing $150,000 per annum to cover the Northern Territory PGA Championship purse for 2018 and 2019.
First played in 2016, the 2018 edition will again be contested at the Palmerston Golf Course from August 16-19.
“Golf is one of Australia’s most popular sports and is enjoyed by people of all ages, status and social back ground, so it is exciting we are delivering this elite level of golf back to the Top End for Territorians to enjoy,” said Mr Ian Ford, Department of Tourism and Culture, Senior Director Sport and Active Recreation.
“The Northern Territory PGA forms part of the PGA Tour of Australasia and provides professional golfers the opportunity to play elite level golf in the Territory. Developing the sport of golf in the NT remains high on our agenda, and our contribution of $150,000 per-annum in prize money for the championship is testament to our commitment to the event, and to the sport of golf in the Territory."
The Northern Territory PGA Championship is not just an opportunity for Territorians to watch live professional golf but also provides an important pathway for Australia’s professional golfers. Participants have the opportunity to compete for Official World Golf Ranking Points, with the winner gaining full exemption on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia until the end of the 2019 season.
2017 champion Travis Smyth (pictured) certainly used his dominant six-stroke victory and comfort in the knowledge of a two-year exemption as a springboard to a strong start to his professional career.
Smyth captured the title as an amateur just two weeks after a dramatic performance at the U.S. Amateur Championship in Los Angeles, where he was eliminated in the quarter finals by the eventual champion, Doc Redman. Turning professional not long after his triumph at Palmerston, Smyth continued his impressive run of form with high finishes at the NSW and Australian Opens and PGA Championship before securing playing rights on the Asian Tour for 2018.
“The Northern Territory PGA Championship has flourished over the past two years on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and I am sure it will continue to evolve over the next two, thanks to the continued support of the Northern Territory Government,” said Simon Butterly, General Manager of Tournaments for the PGA of Australia, which owns the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
“Professional golfers are privileged to travel the world and the Territory is certainly a unique destination that they all enjoy visiting.”
Tournament hosts, Cazalys Palmerston, report that excitement among is once again building amongst locals as the Palmerston club looks forward to the third staging of the Championship.
“We can’t wait to have the spotlight once again on the Palmerston Golf Course for the Northern Territory PGA Championship and welcoming an international field of players, as well as emerging players from the Territory. It’s going to be a fantastic four days of competition.” said Susan Heenan, Marketing Manager for Cazalys Palmerston and Palmerston Golf Course.
City of Palmerston Mayor Athina Pascoe-Bell said City of Palmerston is proud to again be sponsoring this wonderful event.
“Territorians have always had a passion for outdoor sports so we are thrilled to see the Tournament return to Palmerston for the third time.” Ms Pascoe-Bell said.
“It’s a great opportunity to showcase our city. The influx of visitors will deliver fantastic economic benefits for our local businesses as well as providing a unique experience for our community. We look forward to welcoming all involved in the 2018 Northern Territory PGA Championship to Palmerston.”