First held under its current title back in 1929, the home tournament of the Australian PGA has undertaken quite a tour of the nation, with over 30 separate courses hosting the event over the course of its lifetime. The tournament hasn’t been quite so nomadic since the turn of the century and has taken place at one of three courses – the Royal Queensland Golf Club, the Palmer Voolum Resort, or RACBV Royal Pines Resort – every year between 2000 and 2022.
Australian-based players generally make up the bulk of the field, and the home nation unsurprisingly boasts an excellent record of producing the winner. It wasn’t until the 23rd edition of the tournament that the prize fell to a non-Australian, with South African Gary Player breaking the home nation’s stranglehold in 1957. Player’s success came under match play conditions, with the tournament not switching to stroke play until 1964. That format change made little difference to Col Johnston who won the last ever match play event in 1963 and the first stroke play edition in 1964. Traditionally held in November, the tournament is most commonly co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia and the DP World Tour.
|2022||Royal Queensland Golf Club||Cameron Smith|
2022: Cameron Smith
One of the big storylines coming into the 2022 Fortinet Australian PGA Championship was how well the LIV Golf players would compete back in open company. The biggest questions surrounded Cameron Smith who is, by some people’s estimation, the best golfer in the world, but came into the tournament in average form. The Open champion answered those questions emphatically with a three-stroke win in front of an adoring Brisbane crowd.
It wasn’t only outside detractors questioning Smith’s form ahead of the highly anticipated tournament. The man himself admitted that he was unsure whether he was playing well enough to beat a field of this strength. “I really didn’t think I had it in me at the start of the week,” Smith said after securing his win. “I was a bit scratchy and the game has got better and better as the week went on, other than the front nine today.”
Smith referenced the front nine of his final round because some poor golf opened the door to the chasing pack which included Ryo Hisatune of Japan and the Australian pair of Jason Scrivener and Min Woo Lee. Smith gathered himself impressively though to put the tournament to bed with a flourish late on.