Gold Coast firms as PGA's future venue

Murray Wenzel
PGA Championship winner Cameron Smith has approved the Gold Coast Royal Pines course redesign

The Australian PGA Championship seems destined to stay on the Gold Coast, with a renewal at Royal Pines to be announced as early as Monday.

In the fifth and final year of the tournament since its move from Hyatt Regency Coolum, Cameron Smith was crowned winner following a two-hole sudden death play-off on Sunday.

An extension on the Gold Coast for the European Tour-sanctioned event would mark a significant period of stability for the sport in Queensland, given the Australian Open is to move from Sydney to Melbourne in 2020 and 2022.

Bigger crowds attended this year, from the time the first ball was struck at 6am on Thursday through to Smith's final putt on Sunday afternoon, despite heavy showers on Thursday and the prospect of storms on Sunday.

Brisbane 24-year-old Smith, a proud Queenslander who wears a maroon shirt on the fourth day of tournaments, said he would continue playing the event as long as he had his US PGA Tour card.

And, while there was some hesitancy from players at first, Smith says the Graham Marsh redesign between 2014-15 is finally bearing fruit.

"This year is actually the best improvement," he said.

"Last year to this year was a huge improvement, just the grass filling in and you can actually play some shots that Mr Marsh wants you to play."

Smith said he would do his best to follow the lead of idol Adam Scott and support Queensland golf as he attempts to emulate the former world No.1 and Masters champion's feats.

"This will be on my schedule as long as I have my card and full status in the US," he said.

"To be on the same trophy as those guys, I just hope I can do half as much with my golf as they did with theirs."