Swinging at the Bay

By STEVE SPINKS

THE top seniors golfers in Australia and New Zealand could be playing at Byron Bay in December to top up their superannuation fund in the 2007 Seniors PGA Championships.

The chief executive of the NSW PGA, Melville Proud, visited the Bay yesterday to discuss the option of the Byron club hosting the three-day championships.

He left impressed.

"I've had discussions with the captain and directors of the Byron club," Proud confirmed.

"We've put forward an offer for them to host the 2007 Seniors PGA Championship.

"Byron has a great golf course and the town as a whole is a great destination.

"The event would be held in December before the tourist season."

The Byron Bay club will meet on Monday night to discuss the offer.

Although club officials were remaining tight-lipped yesterday when contacted by The Northern Star, it is believed they will ratify the offer and the event will be confirmed on Tuesday.

"It's a big decision they have to make," Proud said.

"They would have to close down their course for three days for the championship."

Last year the event was held at Newcastle and, according to Proud, the PGA likes the idea of holding the seniors event in regional areas, which are starved of quality golf events.

Northern Star columnist and Lismore Workers Golf Club professional Peter Jaeger said the seniors event, should it go ahead at Byron, would be worth watching.

"You're talking about guys the quality of Bob Charles from New Zealand, who won the British Open," he said.

"Then you have Rodger Davis, Ian Stanley, Bob Shearer, Wayne Grady, Graham Marsh and guys like Dave Merrimen, who has a European seniors card, and Bill Dunk.

"You're talking a who's who of Australian golf from the 1970s and 80s."

Proud said player nominations could not be confirmed until the venue had been locked in.

Prizemoney of $60,000 is rumoured if the event is held at Byron Bay.



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