It appears the tradition won’t continue with news that the Australian Masters will not be held in 2016.
After a few problematic years where the tournament has run at a loss with poor attendances and a lack of big-name golfers, Australian Masters’ organisers IMG have announced that the event won’t be held in 2016.
Vice President-Director of Golf at IMG Australia and New Zealand, David Rollo yesterday issued a short statement:
“As part of IMG’s ongoing evolution of its golf events business, the company is in the process of reimagining its Australian Masters event to ensure the delivery of a world-class experience. To best execute a change of this scale, IMG today announced that the Australian Masters will not be played in 2016.
IMG will unveil its new plans for the event in the coming months.”
The Australian Masters saw incredible crows and success when organisers attracted then world number one Tiger Woods in 2009 and 2010, but ever since the tournament has failed to attract a decent field.
The tournament returned to Huntingdale last year as part of the course rotation designed to showcase more of Melbourne’s sandbelt region however despite Peter Senior’s amazing victory, the event failed to attract much interest. The late withdrawal of Ernie Els probably didn’t help matters.
And so for the first time in 37 years, the Australian MAsters will not be a part of the Australian summer. Melbourne will not miss out on big tournament golf though with the PGA Tour World Cup of Golf to be played at Kingston Heath November 24-27.
All the same, it’s a huge loss to golf in Australia. Let’s hope IMG does come up with a new improved version of the format.