Tee time on boil at Qld PGA event

WITH only six weeks remaining until tee time at City Golf Club, the field for this year's Queensland PGA Championship is beginning to take shape.

The City club will continue its association with the PGA Tour of Australasia when it hosts the four-round tournament from February 23 to 26.

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US PGA Tour winner Steve Bowditch won the time-honoured Queensland Championship in its return to Toowoomba in 2009 while Kiwi Gareth Paddison won last year's event played in the aftermath of the city's flood disaster.

Last year's field was boosted by the inclusion of Australian golfing stalwarts Craig Parry and Peter O'Malley.

Queensland PGA executive officer Broc Greenhalgh said negotiations were continuing to secure Parry and O'Malley for this year's championship which had already attracted a growing list of Australasia's leading professionals.

"Players are still finalising their new year commitments but the Queensland PGA response has been good and we're really happy with the support shown for the event," Greenhalgh said yesterday.

"Paul Sheehan and Matt Griffin are on board with Kurt Barnes, Adam Crawford and Ryan Haller also confirmed starters.

"Kurt is a previous visitor to Toowoomba and will be well known to local golf fans.

"He had a fantastic year last year in Japan where he had a tour victory and he's playing at this week's British Open qualifying at Kingston Heath.

"Ryan Haller is another player who has enjoyed a good summer and was in strong contention at the Australian Open in November."

Haller completed a top-10 Open finish at The Lakes Golf Club, highlighted by his third-round 65.

Crawford ended 2011 on a high note with a tie for fourth in the Australian Masters where he closed with a final round 66 at Victoria Golf Course.

"We're still talking with other players like Craig Parry and Kim Felton about their availability for the championship," Greenhalgh said.

"Hopefully we can confirm more starters in coming weeks."

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