SENIORS WINNER: David Merriman.
SENIORS WINNER: David Merriman.

Five more years

By ADAM HICKS

BYRON BAY Golf Club has won the backing of the PGA to host the Australian PGA Senior Championship for the next five years.

According to PGA NSW and ACT executive officer Melville Proud, the club answered any queries about its capacity to stage a major tournament with a seamless display of event management at this year's championship, which concluded on Tuesday.

Happy is too far an understatement," Proud said.

The event from first-up, with 10 weeks to organise, was nothing short of outstanding in every aspect the course, the clubhouse hospitality, the professionalism in the event management," Proud said.

Before the tournament, the biggest single comment that could be made was, 'We're going to Byron Bay, what's that golf course?'.

Then by the middle of the week they were saying, 'What a golf course! This is fantastic'.

By the end of the week it was, 'I hope we can come back here'."

The event attracted 181 golfers, including 82 professionals, and satisfied all the PGA's requirements.

We would like to have it finalised by the end of January by the latest so they have (the maximum amount of time) to prepare for the event," Proud said.

As far as I'm concerned, I want it at Byron.

The PGA members were full of praise for the golf course and surprised by its quality but only out of ignorance.

The members made it quite clear that they'd like to see it there.

The issue from the PGA side is nothing more than the club's ability to raise the prizemoney required."

Club captain Mark Wilson said this year's major sponsor, MediDrain, had already expressed interest in continuing support, while a number of other companies had also expressed interest in providing financial backing.

The revenue should not be a problem," Wilson said.

I've got no doubts we'll be able raise the money."

Wilson said members of the club were proud to have hosted such a successful event.

It ran perfectly and the atmosphere it created was just awesome," Wilson said.

The number of pros who said it was the best seniors tournament they've ever played in, would just blow you away. They loved the course, they loved the town ... it was the best atmosphere."

The members were rapt and the pros I've never seen them have such a good time.



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