Connecting the Golf Industry

Wed Nov 28 2012
NSW PGA Championship storylines

Griffin wins restraint of trade case 

Tournament favorite Matthew Griffin has reason to celebrate even before a ball has been hit in the NSW PGA Championship at Mt. Broughton this week.

Griffin, alongside fellow Aussie Terry Pilkadaris, Dutchman Guido van der Valk and Malaysia's Anis Hassan, have won their year-long court battle with the Asian Tour after they were fined and banned from competing in Asian Tour events because they played on OneAsia.

The ruling out of the Singapore High Court directs the Asian Tour pay back fines and legal fees, while the players’ lawyer also said they may also be able to claim for damages as compensation for potential earnings lost.

“It’s great to get this judgment in our favour. All we ever wanted from this action was the right to play golf wherever we had earned the right,” said Griffin this morning.

“Hopefully this decision will be a good result for all golfers playing within the Asian region and open up more opportunities for the game.”

Brian Thorburn, CEO of the PGA of Australia today applauded the court’s ruling.

“Playing opportunities in Asia are integral to the development of our Tournament Members, and I applaud Matt, Terry, Guido and Anis on their perseverance,” said Thorburn.

“This ruling will assist the ongoing growth of golf in the region, and will ensure Asia remains an attractive and accessible playing pathway for both our current and future Tournament Members.”

Confident Abbott chasing another 59 

Campbelltown Golf Club Trainee Professional David Abbott will tee off in this week's NSW PGA Championship with plenty of confidence after shooting a magical round of 59 at his home club last week.

The 23-year-old second year Trainee, who won the NSW Trainee Championship in 2011, had nine birdies and an eagle around the par-70 layout to beat his previous best score of eight under 62. And remarkably, the round also included a penalty shot.

Abbott said he felt something special might be on the cards when he went out in 29, seven under, then birdied the 11th and eagled the par-5 13th.

“I knew I was shooting a good number but just tried to do what everyone says and take it one shot at a time,” he told PGA Mail yesterday.

“The nerves didn't really kick in till the last putt though. Thankfully it was only a foot long but it looked like six feet when I stood over it!”

Higginbottom joins Pro ranks

Yesterday’s late news that Jake Higginbottom has decided to turn Professional for this week’s NSW PGA Championship has caused quite a stir.

19 year old Higginbottom, who won last week’s BMW NZ Open as an amateur, has decided to take the step into the Pro ranks and take up the two-year exemption on the PGA Tour of Australasia and OneAsia.

He is also guaranteed entry to the second round of US and European qualifying school in 2013.

Higginbottom is one of a number of high profile amateurs who have turned Professional in 2012, joining Matthew Steiger, Ryan McCarthy, Daniel Nisbet and Bryden Macpherson in the rookie ranks. 

Round 1 tee times

Tee times for the first round of the NSW PGA Championship are now available, with the first groups teeing off from 7.00am at Mt. Broughton Golf Club.

Groups to watch include:

07:40: Won Joon Lee, Ryan Fox, Matthew Stieger
07:40: Gavin Flint, Craig Parry, Bradley Hughes
07:50: Matthew Griffin, Jake Higginbottom, Nick Cullen

For full tee times go to http://www.pga.org.au/teetimes

With a prize purse of $100,000 the 2012 NSW PGA Championship will tee off at Mt. Broughton Golf and Country Club from Thursday 29th November to Sunday 2nd December.

Stay up to date with news and live scores throughout the week at www.pga.org.au or download the PGA Tour of Australasia’s iphone app.

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