It was nearly 18 months ago that Jordan Zunic had his name etched into the history books as the winner of the 2018 Isuzu Queensland Open. And the layoff hasn’t deterred his drive to become back-to-back champion.

The New South Welshman returns to the Queensland tournament as reigning champion but will encounter a new course and different challenges than those faced last time.

As one of 132 professionals and amateurs teeing it up on the Sunshine Coast at Pelican Waters Golf Club this week, Zunic was thrilled to see the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia tournament rescheduled for February 20-23.

“It’s great to come back and play the event and to move to somewhere different as well up here on the Sunshine Coast, it’s a really beautiful place,” Zunic said.

“I haven’t been up here a lot so I’m just staying down at Caloundra and it’s a stunning part of the world. It should be a really cool week.”

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Zunic tied for 14th at last week’s Coca-Cola Queensland PGA Championship in Toowoomba and during the past year has enjoyed a string of strong results both in Australia and on Europe’s Challenge Tour, including a tie for 10th at the Andalucia–Costa del Sol Match Play 9 event.

Hot, humid conditions and a different type of course greets the field this week, but Zunic says the biggest challenge will be keeping his game consistent.

“I had two really good days and then two days were not so good,” Zunic said of his efforts at the Queensland PGA Championship.

“If I could just put four good days together this week I’m sure I could be right up there again and be in contention which would be great. My game is feeling really good and I’ve got my coach up here with me so he’s just fine-tuning and making sure everything’s where it should be. Then it’ll just be a matter of working out a game plan to play the course.”

As a three-time winner on the PGA Tour of Australasia, Zunic enters the event as one of the most successful in the field but will contend with the familiar faces of Richard Green, Jason Norris, Brad Kennedy, Michael Sim and more when he takes to the fairways from Thursday.

The depth of talent in the field, however, will do little to deter the 28-year-old from going after his fourth career title.

“Most weeks you know who you’re playing against but it is best just to play your own game,” he said.

“At the end of the day it’s just you against the golf course and you go out and try and do the best you can each day and hope that that’s good enough at the end of the week.

“My last win was when I won this tournament 18 months ago. It would mean a lot if I could get another win. I’ll go out there and give it a crack.”

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The Isuzu Queensland Open will be played at Pelican Waters Golf Club from February 20-23. Entry is free to spectators all week.

In addition to the winner’s share of the $137,500 prize purse, the champion will receive Official World Golf Ranking Points and will receive full exemption onto the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia until the end of the 2021 season.