Legendary PGA line up for the Sunshine Coast Masters
WE may have lost the Australian PGA but Ian Baker-Finch is determined to bring golfing class back to the Sunshine Coast.
The Coast is playing host to the final round of the 2015 E-Z-GO PGA Legends Tour season for the first time ever.
With some of the greatest players in Australian golfing history all in one place, Baker-Finch said it's putting the Coast back on the map.
"The Sunshine Coast Masters is my baby, I want to make it the model event on the Legends tour," he said.
"I know Coolum's not there anymore but it was the best event of the Australian year, everyone loved coming here and we're trying to recreate that.
"I want to have all the guys come for last week of the year and enjoy the Sunshine Coast weather and hospitality."
The Sunshine Coast Masters is a series of three pro-am events being played at Noosa, Peregian Springs and Twin Waters, with the best 30 qualifying for the final round at Twin Waters.
The likes of Mike Harwood, Peter Senior, Rodger Davis and Jeff Woodland from one of Australia's golfing golden eras joined Baker-Finch on day one yesterday.
The 1991 British Open winner said their presence was huge for Sunshine Coast golf.
"We all grew up playing together and Peter Senior was the one to beat," he said.
"He was the best amateur in Australia and I only ever won a junior title when he was in the category ahead of me. He's won major tournaments in five decades and just loves the game more than anyone."
Noosa Chamber of Commerce vice-president David Bell said he was "filthy" he couldn't be there.
But he said the tournament would be a boost for both the region's golf and the economy.
"There's a number of heavyweights, with a handicap like mine I'll enjoy watching all of them," he said.
"These sorts of things promote the area for tourists.
"It gives local golfers a really good chance to see, talk and play with professionals.
"And golfers are travellers - they love to move around and play on good courses and we're blessed to have some great courses.
"From the turnout, you get the impression that some of our top golfers are wanting to return."
Each event in the tournament has a prize purse worth $20,000.