FORMER Australian PGA Championship runner-up Mathew Goggin has decided against making a rush trip back from the United States to play in the 2010 tournament which starts on Thursday.
After a disappointing year in the US, Goggin was forced to return to the final stage of the US PGA Tour qualifying school which wraps up this morning (US time).
The Tasmanian had planned to leave Florida as early as he could so he could play at Coolum where he finished second, two strokes behind Geoff Ogilvy, two years ago.
However he officially withdrew from the $1.5 million event today.
Former champion Peter Lonard is also playing in the Q-school but remains committed to playing at the PGA.
Rain not expected to be PGA factor
ORGANISERS of this week’s Australian PGA Championship at Coolum say they don’t expect the $1.5million event to be affected by wet weather.
Tournament Director Andrew Langford-Jones said 100mm of rain had fallen on the Hyatt Regency Course in the last 48 hours, however, he expected it would not impact when play gets underway on Thursday.
He said the course’s drainage system had handled the recent downfall well and provided it did not pour rain for the rest of the week, the event should go ahead to plan.
“The course is draining really nicely at the moment,” he said.
“It’s amazing that the course can handle that amount of water. As long as it doesn’t continue raining like it has for the last two days, we should have no problems.
Showers are forecast for the Sunshine Coast for today through to Thursday with possible thunderstorms and showers on Friday and Saturday.
If rain does interrupt play, the tournament can continue into Monday.
“Being the last tournament of the year we have no real restriction since the players don’t have to go on to another tournament or anything,” Langford-Jones said.
“I’d be staggered if it doesn’t start on time. There are people out on the course at the moment playing, as I speak there are people playing at Coolum. But golf is an outdoor game, we do play in the rain.”
While organisers predicted the PGA Championship would go ahead, the wet weather halted play at the Hyatt Regency Coolum Gold Cup of Cups junior event yesterday.
Meanwhile, the Australian PGA Championship was yesterday struck a blow when American Dudley Hart was forced to withdraw due to a back injury.
Hart is on the comeback trail after undergoing spinal fusion surgery in June last year and has not played since.
He failed to finish yesterday’s final round of the Australian Open in Sydney, his first event back after an 18-month layoff.
“We’re disappointed obviously,” Langford-Jones said.
“He had his chiropractor out on the course with him during the round today. But he’s recovering from back surgery and this is his first tournament back.”
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