The event is the first of two consecutive events co-sanctioned with the PGA Tour of Australasia. Next week, the two tours will again team up for the ING New Zealand PGA Championship.
Winning in Australia doesnt only provide a good financial start to the new season; history also shows that its a launching pad straight to the PGA Tour.
Each of the previous three winners of this event has earned a promotion to the primary circuit for the following season. It began with Australias own Gavin Coles, who won the event in 2002, and ended the year 13th on the Nationwide Tours money list. Joe Ogilvie claimed the title in 2003 en route to his second-place showing on the money list. And last year, Aussie Euan Walters used his Jacobs Creek win to help him finish 14th in earnings.
All three are current members of the PGA Tour. Coles lost his card after a dismal rookie showing in 2003, when he made only seven of 28 cuts. He returned to the developmental tour in 04 and earned the last of 20 promotional tickets ' thanks primarily to his win in the New Zealand PGA ' to get back to the Big Leagues.
Ogilvie has been a mainstay on the PGA Tour since earning his card for the 2004 season. He collected a pair of top-3 finishes on his way to a 49th-place finish on the money list in his rookie campaign. This year, he led after each of the first four rounds of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, only to falter with a Sunday 73 and finish tied for second.
Walters, like Coles, has missed the cut in each of his first two starts this year.
This event, as well as next weeks contest, will be evenly split, with 78 players from each of the two tours. One of the most lucrative tournaments of the year, the purse is listed as a minimum of $600,000, meaning the winner will get no less than $108,000.
It is contested at the 6,711-yard, par-72 Kooyonga Golf Club in May Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia.
This is the second of 31 events on the 2005 Nationwide Tour calendar. Vance Veazey won the lid-lifter two weeks ago at the BellSouth Panama Championship.