(Reuters) - Former world number one Adam Scott, influenced more by his new home base than his homeland, will skip the Australian PGA Championship in December to compete instead in the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.
The 35-year-old Australian is banking on being exempt into the exclusive 18-man Tiger Woods-hosted World Challenge, which has not yet finalised its field.
The Dec. 3-6 event will be played for the first time at Albany Golf Club on the island of New Providence in the Bahamas, which is where Scott has his primary residence.
“There’s an influence for me to play at Albany, because that’s where I live,” Scott told Reuters about his decision to play in the World Challenge. “I probably play more rounds there than anyone.”
He won the Australian PGA Championship in his home state of Queensland in 2013, before losing a seven-hole playoff for the title against compatriot Greg Chalmers in December last year.
After becoming the first Australian to earn a coveted green jacket when he clinched the Masters in 2013, Scott was the center of attention when he returned home to play four tournaments at the end of that year.
He played three events in his homeland last season, but this year will play just one -- the Nov. 26-29 Australian Open in Sydney, where he could well find himself playing second fiddle to defending champion Jordan Spieth.
Fellow Australian Jason Day, who won his first major title at last month’s PGA Championship, has also announced he will not play in his homeland this year because of the impending birth of his second child.
The World Challenge invites its defending champion (Spieth), the reigning major champions (Spieth, Zach Johnson and Day) and two sponsor exemptions before completing its elite field with the top available players from the world rankings.
Woods has already received one of the two sponsor exemptions for his own event. Scott is 13th in this week’s world rankings.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes