PGA not threatened by LIV Golf's Queensland approach

·3-min read
Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS

The Australian PGA is confident its tournament can co-exist in Queensland alongside LIV Golf after the state government revealed expansion discussions with Greg Norman were underway.

On Tuesday the $2 million Australian PGA Championship was locked in for Brisbane's Royal Queensland from November 23-26.

The popular event could soon have company though, with Queensland's tourism and sports minister Stirling Hinchliffe confirming during that launch he'd been in talks with LIV boss Norman about expanding into his home state.

Adelaide proved a boisterous, sell-out success when a swathe of major champions arrived in a stacked field for the first Australian LIV Golf event last month.

With Queenslander and British Open champion Cameron Smith a star attraction of the Saudi-backed rebel league, the sunshine state had always been tipped as a natural addition.

Hinchliffe confirmed the wheels were in motion.

"Tourism Events Queensland have sat down with Greg and had conversations about the program," he said.

"It's early days, but we're open to those conversations."

But PGA Australia chairman Rodger Davis didn't bat an eyelid when asked how threatening a Queensland LIV expansion would be.

"I don't think any," he told AAP.

"They can (co-exist), but they've got such huge budgets that we can't compete even if we tried."

While banned from European and PGA events, Australia's LIV Golf players will continue to be welcomed back for events in their home country.

Smith won the title in 2022 with 62,000 fans attending across four days last November to watch the local hero strut his stuff.

Recently starved of foreign star power, Davis said he'd spoken to "about 25" internationals during the recent Masters about playing his tournament.

He is confident there will be renewed uptake given there is now a gap in the taxing US schedule.

Davis said their Royal Queensland showpiece would lean into the fan experience with a larger stadium around the 17th par-three party hole but, in a point of difference to LIV events, continue to cater to junior golfers and families.

And where the Australian tour was once offered "token" status in the United States and Europe, Davis said the country's emerging talent were invested due to the new, unprecedented pathways.

A New Zealand PGA Championship winner in March, Brisbane professional Louis Dobbelaar wants to take advantage of that.

"It (LIV) is an extra avenue for guys and Adelaide looked awesome; the crowds were crazy and the Aussie boys loved it," the 21-year-old told AAP.

"But for me, I'm grateful for all the work the (Australian) PGA's done to give us a shot to get on the main stage somewhere."

David Micheluzzi dominated the domestic circuit last season to earn a DP World Tour card, while he made his PGA Tour debut last week and will play the PGA Championship this week.

"It's a great pathway for us boys now and we're all stoked for him to have done so well," Dobbelaar said.

"It's motivation for us to replicate what he did. You always want it to be yourself."