Superstar Cameron Smith’s wish for easier pin placements at the Australian PGA “party hole” is being considered by tournament officials.
Smith recently called for Royal Queensland’s par-three, 125-metre 17th to have pin placements that will increase the chances of hole-in-one shots occurring during the tournament, which starts on Thursday.
“I love the idea of a party hole,” the 2022 British Open champion said.
“It’s be nice to see them put them (the pins) down in a bowl where people can have a really good chance at a hole-in-one.”
PGA of Australia chief executive officer Gavin Kirkman also would like fans to be treated to some “aces” at the popular party hole.
“That (request from Smith) is in discussion with tour officials,” Kirkman said.
“Feedback from all of us has been tabled … we’d love to have a hole in one.”
The party hole will have even more of an auditorium feel this year.
“The grandstands are bigger, but they’ve come in closer. It’s got a really good atmosphere,” Kirkman said.
“You’re going to be in some areas where you can nearly lean over and pick up the players’ balls.
“The players love getting in there and hearing the music and the fans, but it’s also going to be a safe party hole as well.
“We’ve built some stands there so that families can come in. It’s not just about corporates, it’s going to be so everyone can take it in.
“People can listen to the music, have a good time and have a drink, but it’s also going to be a great spectacle for our fans to sit in stands and absorb what the players deliver down that short hole.”
Smith is aiming for back-to-back Australian PGA titles after winning the event 12 months ago by three shots from West Australian Jason Scrivener and Japan’s Ryo Hisatsune.
“(Royal Queensland) is definitely a place that’s close to the heart, and I do love the golf course,” Brisbane product Smith said.
“I’ve been around it a ton, and particularly the way it played last year, being firm and fast, it was really cool to see a golf course like that.”
LIV star Smith also loves playing in front of Australian fans.
“The Aussie crowds, you can have a little bit more banter with, and have a bit more fun with,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to hanging out in Brissie.”
With the event growing in stature each year thanks to it being co-sanctioned by Europe’s DP World Tour, a strong field will mean it won’t be an easy task for Smith to defend his title.
Apart from the likes of fellow Australians Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, Min Woo Lee and Lucas Herbert keen to being keen to unseat Smith, Polish star Adrian Meronk, the winner of last year’s Australian Open, is returning for another tilt at conquering Royal Queensland.
The field also includes Ryder Cup hero Robert McIntyre, England’s Eddie Pepperell, Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts and Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello.
PGA Tour player Jhonattan Vegas will also be at Royal Queensland, as well as his fellow South Americans Mito Pereira and Joaquin Niemann, the Chilean pair who battle regularly with Smith on the LIV tour.
Kirkman said the event depth was “really good”.
“We’re very happy with where the field’s landing,” he said.
“It’s a boost to get such depth in the field and the quality players, but then it also allows our Australasian tour players to play alongside the best of the best.
“There’s not just one or two marquee groups, there could be half a dozen. There’s a real buzz.
“We’re loving what’s happening but we want more as well.
“We’re not becoming complacent. We want more pathways out of these events, and we want to continue to grow our events.”
https://thewest.com.au/news/cameron-smith-calls-for-some-generous-pin-placements-to-increase-hole-in-one-hopes-at-pga-party-hole-c-12609427 Cameron Smith calls for some generous pin placements to increase hole-in-one hopes at PGA ‘party hole’