European Tour to co-sanction Australian PGA Championship

Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:44pm EDT
 
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SYDNEY (Reuters) - This year's Australian PGA Championship will be co-sanctioned by the European Tour and boast the richest purse in the 120-year history of the tournament, the PGA of Australia said on Tuesday.

The tournament, which will take place at the Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast from Dec. 3-6, will offer a total of A$1.75 million ($1.35 million) in prize money.

The winner will receive a cheque for A$315,000 and earn berths at next year's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

"This is a huge step forward for the tournament to rank alongside many of the great tournaments in Europe and Asia," said PGA of Australia chief Brian Thorburn.

"The partnership will also provide the opportunity to improve the strength of the field through the greater depth of international players currently playing on the European Tour."

Despite being home to a string of major champions, Australia has struggled to sustain its tour in recent years and in March the Australia's PGA denied reports it was planning to merge with the fast expanding European circuit.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)