Aussies secure first International Challenge win

Australia has won the International Challenge for the first time in the event’s four-year history.

Team China and Team Australia went head-to-head on the Sanctuary Cove Palms Course on the Gold Coast last week in the first stage of the home and away style tournament.

Earlier this year both the structure of the event and Australian Team selection criteria were changed to produce a ‘new look’ event.

A team of six Team Australia Professionals and six leading amateurs representing all state associations competed in a 54-hole teams match play format against 12 amateurs from China who qualified via their National Championship, the Buick China Golf Club League.

“The International Challenge is an important event that continues to build the PGA’s relationship with the China Golf Association and develop local and international playing opportunities for PGA Professionals and amateurs,” said Brian Thorburn, CEO of the PGA of Australia.

Played over three formats, Team Australia opened solidly in the two person ambrose. Under the watchful eye of playing captain Darren Richards, the Aussies won five of the six matches, squaring the other.

The team’s form continued in round two, winning five matches in the 4 Ball Best Ball with China also securing their first win. Australia continued to dominate the singles round with the team finishing on 21.5 to China 2.5, closing out the tournament.

“It was a wonderful event played between two countries. The boys got along very well and even with the language barrier golf was a bond between the two teams and the games were played with much respect,” said Darren Richards, captain of Team Australia.

The Australian team saw six PGA Professionals qualify through from the 2015 PGA Professionals Championship held at Hamilton Island, while the amateurs were selected through a different criteria following their outstanding results in their respective states throughout 2015.

A presentation dinner was held at the Australian PGA Championship in the PGA marquee overlooking the newly re-designed 18th green at RACV Royal Pines Resort.

Federal Member for Swan, Steve Irons, joined guests who were treated to an Australian themed evening which included snakes, crocodiles and a local indigenous performance.


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