Give young golf stars a chance: Allenby | Guardian News

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Triple Crown winner Robert Allenby is urging officials to rethink their decision to wipe the entire Australian summer of golf, saying the country’s exciting band of youngsters deserve better.

Golf power brokers last month reluctantly aborted plans to reschedule the summer’s premier three events, cancelling the Australian PGA Championship, Australian Open and Women’s Australian Open because of the global pandemic.

All three events had been postponed from December to February but Golf Australia supremo James Sutherland, PGA of Australia boss Gavin Kirkman and ALPG chief Karen Lunn decided to scratch them.

Allenby, who won the first of his two Australian Open titles as a 23-year-old in 1994, believes it’s an opportunity lost and noted how the US PGA Tour has managed to play on despite the coronavirus being out of control in America.

“The US Tour have done a great job with putting on events and making the players safe; there’s no reason why Australia can’t – play with no spectators,” Allenby told AAP, suggesting the Australian Open men’s and women’s championships could be shifted from Victoria and South Australia respectively.

“I say move the tournaments north to the heat and play for less money to have them on to give our young guys a chance. They need it and deserve it.

“When I was a touring pro back in 1991, there were nearly 30 events on the Aussie tour. Now we have four or five.

“Such a shame when we have, and have had, some of the best golfers in the world.

“Our boys need a chance.”

Allenby, who remains the only player to have won the Australian Open, PGA and Masters events in the same year, in 2005, said even if fans were not attend, a national championship showcasing Australia’s plethora of world-class young talent during COVID-19 would still be exciting.

His plea comes as Australia’s Masters runner-up Cameron Smith also lamented the cancellation of the summer program.

“It’s a bummer I can’t try to continue this hot form, especially back home,” Smith told AAP after finishing equal second at Augusta National behind world No.1 Dustin Johnson – shooting 15 under par, the lowest 72-hole total ever by a runner-up.

The cancellation of the summer’s three biggest events leaves Australia’s emerging stars resigned to only playing pro-ams and the $300,000, six-event NSW regional open series.

Australian Associated Press


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