Grady calls on US, Euro Tours for a favour

Wayne Grady says Australian golf, unable to schedule a tournament that suits the world's best players, deserves some love from the US and European tours.

03-Dec-2018 By Murray Wenzel, Australian Associated Press
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Wayne Grady has called on the PGA Tour to throw Australia a bone and help establish a stand-alone event that will bring the world's best golfers back to the country.

The major winner-turned commentator says Australian golf is in good hands on course, but is painted into a corner administratively when it comes to finding clean air for its own tournaments.

The Australian pre-Christmas swing concluded on Sunday when Cameron Smith won back-to-back Australian PGA Championships in a field that also included Marc Leishman, but no top-20 international drawcard.

The Australian Open was similarly down on star power while conflicting tournaments and even weddings robbed Melbourne's World Cup of Golf of the game's biggest stars.

Grady won the 1990 US PGA Championship, lost a play-off for the British Open nine years later and has since served as Australian PGA Tour chairman before going into course design and now golf event management on the Gold Coast.

On Monday he helped launch what will be the country's richest pro-am event - the two-day tournament will carry a $150,000 prize purse - to be played at the Lakelands Golf Club next April and raise money to assist families with autistic children.

"We need that one big event here every year at the same course and the US (PGA) tour mainly, and the European Tour, has got to come to the party with it and help us out," he told AAP.

"They play in Malaysia and Singapore and we need to have one down here, they need to support us because we've given so much to world golf."

Thirteen Australian men and women have combined to win 27 majors, while it was Greg Norman who Tiger Woods unseated to become the longest-standing world No.1.

Grady rates both Smith and Leishman as realistic shots to next year join Jason Day and Adam Scott as major winners.

And while he "could only hope" Australia's current crop visited more often, he doesn't blame them for playing elsewhere.

"All-in-all our guys have been fantastic," he said.

"Leish could play a few more, Jason certainly could play more - Jason's a little bit like the modern day Steve Elkington.

"But these (American) guys are making 10, 15, 20 million (dollars) a year, what do you offer them?"

"A long time ago you'd offer a holiday on the Great Barrier Reef - now they all own their own yachts."


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