Australia’s ‘Big 3’ Summer of Golf tournaments will be reduced to just two this year, with news that the Australian Masters will not be held in 2016.
In a media statement released today by David Rollo, Vice President-Director of Golf, IMG Australia and New Zealand, the Australian Masters was slated to be “reimagined”, with more details to follow at a later date:
“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,” Rollo stated. “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 loss of the Australian Masters in Melbourne represents a major blow for golf in Victoria, which for the time being finds itself without an Australian major golf tournament. Both the Australian Open and the Australian PGA Championship have been locked-in to Sydney and the Gold Coast, respectively, on long-term contracts. (A fact that many in the industry–including Inside Golf–have argued to be short-sighted.)
And while Melbourne golf fans will take some solace in the fact that this summer’s World Cup of Golf will be held in Melbourne in November; the fact remains that Australia’s long-touted “Home of golf” is currently on the outside looking in, signifying a worrying situation for both golf fans and the services/clubs/industry that are all dependent upon the tourism dollars generated by events of this nature.