The 2018 Australian PGA Championship at the RACV Royal Pines Resort Gold Coast is the season-ending golf tournament of the 2018 PGA Tour of Australasia, Australia's counterpart of the US PGA Tour. Many narratives play into this tourney, which has $1,500,000 prize money on the line. To get you in on the action quick, we've compiled a preview of what to watch out for in the concluding major pro golf event.
Can Cameron Smith Win Back-to-Back?
#33-ranked Cameron Smith had a good month heading towards the Australian PGA Championship. The 25-year old held his own against top-flight competition from around the world at the World Cup of Golf--where he and fellow Aussie #21-ranked Marc Leishman, finished second, thanks to Cameron Smith's heroics.
Their runner-up result from the World Cup will certainly boost his confidence heading on to the championship, where he defeated Jordan Zunic last year on a play-off.
Geoff Ogilvy Makes a Homecoming Return
After 20 years of living overseas, Geoff Ogilvy makes his return on Australian soil via the Australian PGA Championship. The former 2006 U.S. Open Tour winner hasn't done much playing and winning in recent years, garnering only a place within the Top 15 at the Quicken Loans National last July.
However, he's always been around golf, albeit in places other than competing. Ogilvy has already moved to course design, tour promotion, and maybe even colour commentating. But the focus right now is to have a strong outing at the Australian PGA Championship, which might open a door for a return at the 2019 European Tour.
Lucas Herbert Poised to Make Major Moves
Winning the 2018 Australian PGA Championship would certainly be a feather-in-the-cap to Herbert's otherwise excellent year as a pro. He has seen six Top-10 finishes in 2018 alone, which would be enough to carry momentum towards a top-50 ranking next year and perhaps a place on Ernie Els' International Team for the 2019 President's Cup.
"If I play good golf, I'll probably qualify anyway. And if I don't, I probably don't deserve to get picked."
The Rest of the World Is Coming
Even though Smith is the man to beat in this Championship tournament, the talent coming from all over the world to pluck the silverware away from him is quite formidable.
His fellow Aussie and World Cup of Golf teammate Marc Leishman is one of the top picks to win the Australian PGA Championship after his recent CIMB Classic victory and the second-place finish in the World Cup alongside Smith. One hard to explain negative though is that he has never won on home soil.
Harold Varner from the U.S. has finished within Top-10, Top-5, and even won an Australian PGA Championship over the past three visits. Varner is also riding a wave of momentum, getting six top-25 finishes this year. Mexico's Abraham Ancer also proves to be a worthy challenger having won the Emirates Australian Open by 5 strokes just two weeks ago.
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