After months of speculation, IMG have announced that the JBWere Australian Masters will go ahead in 2011 with world #1 Luke Donald, Ian Poulter and Stuart Appleby set to play.
World #1 golfer Luke Donald will be teeing it up at The Victoria Golf Club from 15-18 December. Fellow countryman and world #14, Ian Poulter and defending champion Australian Stuart Appleby have also confirmed their spots in the field.
Stuart Appleby’s appearance in his home town is no huge surprise and no doubt happy to defend his yellow jacket. But the appearance of the English pair of Luke Donald and Ian Poulter is a big surprise and has shown once again that IMG have enough cash to pull in the big golf names.
“I have never played in Australia but I have heard so many great things about the sandbelt courses, the people there, and the country’s culture. I am really looking forward to the trip and the experience.” Donald recently said.
Poulter also looks forward to the trip to Australia.
“I am huge fan of the sandbelt courses and really look forward to getting back to Melbourne and playing Victoria for the first time. Hopefully I can replicate England’s win in The Ashes last summer!”
This left little room for the Australian Masters, at least if they wanted any big name golfers to take part.
I’ve got nothing but praise for IMG and the JBWere Masters for this announcement. They have spent big attracting Tiger Woods over the past few years and in doing so, raised the profile of Australian golf.
They were shafted in the scheduling process around the Presidents Cup but have taken it on the chin and do what they do best. Opened their very large wallets and offered big money to come and play golf in Australia.
Maybe they should start a Ryder/Presidents Cup tri-series while Donald and Poulter are here…
The big Australian golf tournament calendar now looks like this:
Australian Open: The Lakes, Sydney (Nov 10 – 13, 2011)
Presidents Cup: Royal Melbourne, Melbourne (Nov 18 – 20, 2011)
Australian PGA: Hyatt Coolum, Sunshine Coast (Nov 24 – 27, 2011)
Australian Masters: Victoria Golf Club, Melbourne (Dec 15 – 18, 2011)