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Aust PGA wants better scheduling for 2017

AAP logoAAP 4/12/2016 Scott Bailey

The Australian PGA will work with the European Tour to discuss scheduling for the 2017 Championship in order to bring a stronger field to the tournament.

The Championship is in one of two weeks in the 2017 Tour calendar that have multiple tournaments, meaning the big names playing in early December are split between it and the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa.

This year's tournament at Royal Pines was seen as an improvement on 2015 - headlined by world No.7 Adam Scott and former world No.5 Ian Poulter, along with four of the top five Australian players and New Zealand's highest-ranked duo, Danny Lee and Ryan Fox.

However, Scott was still the only player ranked inside the top 50 on the Gold Coast this weekend.

Australian PGA chairman Peter O'Malley wants to add to the international depth with clearer scheduling.

"We'll work closely with the European Tour in that regard," he said.

"I think we should get a pretty good field for next year."

"It's up to the European Tour to give us some dates. It's not ideal, obviously, but we just deal with the best dates we can go and just make the best of the tournament we've got."

World golf scheduling is no walk in the park.

This week's tournaments was also affected by the Hero Pro in Barbados, ruling out any chance of the top US PGA players staying on in Australia after the World Cup of Golf.

Organisers must not only deal with the world schedule but the Australian calendar, television requests and the challenge of trying to lure international golfers.

As such, this year's PGA was played between last weekend's World Cup of Golf and next weekend's European Tour tournament in Hong Kong.

"We've got some dates that we're working on with everyone involved," O'Malley said.

"I think we'll get some more depth next year from the European Tour so I think it looks positive for next year."

Another high priority will be bringing world No.1 Jason Day to the tournament.

He hasn't played in Australia for the past three summers due to injuries and the birth of his daughter, and was forced out of this year's tournament because of his ongoing back concerns.

However, O'Malley didn't shy away from the fact they wanted the world No.7 for 2017.

"I'd like to get him back," he said.

"So just hope that one day or hopefully next year that he's available and fit enough to play."

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