Tour gets a world perspective

REGIONAL golfers across the nation could soon be joining their heroes on the world ranking list after the PGA Tour of Australasia won a landmark decision with the Board of the Official World Golf Rankings.

After sustained lobbying efforts by the Tour, the Board of the Official World Golf Rankings has announced world ranking points will be awarded to the Tour's state and regional competitions.

The decision means local players will not only be competing for a trophies and a share of the prize money, but also the chance to be officially recognised on the world stage.

“This is a real win for our tournaments and most importantly our players for whom the PGA Tour of Australasia events act as a springboard to other international tours,” Chief Executive Officer of the PGA of Australia Brian Thorburn said.

“The awarding of points will now ensure these events have even greater relevance internationally and will attract even higher quality fields.

"In addition, the allocation of points to these tournaments means that more of our members will have access into events such as the International Final Qualifying (IFQ) for the Open Championship.”

While World Ranking points were already awarded to Australia’s major events, the decision will award points to the remainder of the schedule for events such as the Victorian Open, NSW PGA Championship and Western Australian PGA Championship.

The minimum points level will be set at 6 points for the winner of each state and segional based tournament - putting these events on par with the Canadian Tour, OneAsia, the Tour de Las Americas and the Korean Tour.

“We have a long term strategy for the growth of these key events into the future with the aim of establishing a stable and internationally recognisable tournament platform," Thorburn added.

“Australia continues to produce elite golfers at a rate second to no other country the world over and the addition of these World Ranking points will certainly help us in our cause."

The decision was ratified at the recent meeting of the Official World Golf Ranking Board at The Open Championship in Sandwich.