[PHOTO: Gary Lisbon]
‘The Chase Is On’ for the professionals on the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia with the full schedule of 18 events for 2023-2024 released today.
From the start of the WA Open at Joondalup Resort in Perth today through until the tour finale in mid-March, the tour’s Summer of Golf will visit five states as well as New Zealand, adding to the tournaments in Papua New Guinea and Northern Territory that have already been completed.
The total Challenger PGA Tour of the Australasia schedule offers more than $9 million in prizemoney as the tour continues to breed the region’s next generation of champion golfers.
Aligned with today’s schedule announcement at The Australian Golf Club is the release of the tour’s new promotional campaign, titled ‘The Chase Is On’, which focuses on the intense challenge to improve your position in the professional game, highlighted by the race to be at the top of the season-long Order of Merit and the global rewards that come with earning that achievement.
The tour’s 2023-2024 schedule includes two new events – the Webex Players Series South Australia hosted by Greg Blewett, with its unique mixed format, at Willunga Golf Course later this month and the Heritage Classic at The Heritage Golf & Country Club in Melbourne in January.
Webex Players Series Sydney hosted by Braith Anasta also has a new home at Castle Hill Country Club in north-western Sydney.
For the tour, today’s schedule announcement builds on the momentum that has been achieved on a number of fronts, including:
- Signing a new three-year naming rights partnership with Australian financial investment firm Challenger;
- Establishing its player pathway to catapult Australasian golfers onto the global golf stage;
- The only place to watch every upcoming event of the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia and the Summer of Golf live is on Fox Sports, available on Foxtel and Kayo. Nine and Nine Now also simulcasting the two Australian majors;
- The country’s biggest names committing to play in its biggest tournaments.
PGA of Australia chief executive Gavin Kirkman said: “Our tour is all about ‘the chase’, which is why our new campaign resonates so strongly for me. Our players are chasing titles and prizemoney, exemptions into future events on our tour and eventually for the opportunity to ply their trade across the globe against the world’s best. There is just so much on the line.
“We’re very excited to be travelling all around Australia and New Zealand for 18 exciting events this year, with the third event on the calendar starting today with the WA Open at Joondalup.
“It’s going to be a Summer of Golf to remember.”
PGA of Australia commercial director Michael McDonald said: “As we commence our 2023-2024 Summer of Golf broadcasts with a schedule of tournaments locked in across five states in Australia and New Zealand, we can’t wait to showcase the best talent in our region on the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia.
“Our growth in live broadcast content along with golf’s ability to connect directly with our fans – many of whom also participate across a variety of golf formats – has led to an opportunity to work with Challenger, and we are excited to grow this partnership.”
Challenger chief executive Nick Hamilton said: “Our team at Challenger is excited to see the reveal of the first Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia schedule and look forward to a wonderful Summer of Golf.
“Together with the tour, we want to continue to elevate the sport of golf and inspire young golfers to chase their dreams on and off the golf course.”
PGA of Australia general manager of tournaments and global tour relations Nick Dastey said: “There is a fantastic field battling it out at this week’s WA Open as the chase for the Order of Merit heats up, again offering the top three players a spot on the DP World Tour, along with a raft of other playing opportunities around the world.
“With 16 tournaments yet to be played on our schedule over the next seven months, we’re looking forward to seeing what new talents emerge and what our established stars bring to courses around Australia and New Zealand.”
Eight Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia events will be played in the lead-up to the end of the year, including the two Aussie ‘majors’ – the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship and the ISPS Handa Australian Open.
At the start of 2024, there will be another eight events as the chase for the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit reaches its conclusion, highlighted by the New Zealand Open.
The full Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia schedule for 2023-2024 is:
May 4-7: PNG Open at Royal Port Moresby Golf Club ($180,000). Winner: Lachlan Barker
August 17-20: Tailor-Made Building Services NT PGA Championship at Palmerston Golf & Country Club ($200,000). Winner: Daniel Gale
October 5-8: Nexus Advisernet Bowra & O’Dea WA Open at Joondalup Country Club ($175,000)
October 12-15: CKB WA PGA Championship presented by TX Civil & Logistics at Kalgoorlie Golf Course ($250,000)
October 19-22: Webex Players Series South Australia hosted by Greg Blewett at Willunga Golf Course ($200,000)
November 2-5: Queensland PGA Championship at Nudgee Golf Club ($250,000)
November 9-12: Gippsland Super 6 at Warragul Country Club ($200,000)
November 16-19: Victorian PGA Championship at Moonah Links Resort ($250,000)
November 23-26: Fortinet Australian PGA Championship at Royal Queensland Golf Club ($2 million)
November 30-December 3: ISPS Handa Australian Open at The Australian Golf Club/The Lakes Golf Club ($1.7 million)
January 11-14: Heritage Classic at The Heritage Golf and Country Club ($200,000)
January 18-21: Webex Players Series Murray River in honour of Jarrod Lyle at Cobram-Barooga Golf Club ($250,000)
January 25-28: Webex Players Series Victoria hosted by Geoff Ogilvy at Rosebud Country Club ($250,000)
February 1-4: Vic Open at 13th Beach Golf Links ($420,000)
February 8-11: Webex Players Series Sydney hosted by Braith Anasta at Castle Hill Country Club ($250,000)
February 15-18: Webex Players Series Hunter Valley hosted by Peter O’Malley and Jan Stephenson at Cypress Lakes Resort ($250,000)
February 29-March 3: NZ Open presented by Sky Sports at Millbrook Resort ($NZ1.7 million)
March 11-17: The National at The National Golf Club ($200,000)