Olympian 'loved' playing PGA championship at Coolum
OLYMPIAN Marcus Fraser says Gold Coast's Royal Pines is a great venue for the Australian PGA Championship but he loved playing the event when it was held on the Sunshine Coast.
The $1.5 million tournament will get under way on Thursday and the 38-year-old hopes to return to his best after a long season in which travel has taken its toll.
"I like the course at Royal Pines and hopefully I can turn my form around and get moving in the right direction,” he said.
"The greens are a little bit fiddly and...I've always tended to play well on courses where you've to to try and pitch it in certain areas.”
But Fraser, who took part in the final of Australia's largest pro-am event at Twin Waters on Monday, also said it was unfortunate the event is no longer on the Sunshine Coast.
"I loved it. I played five or six times at Coolum,” he said.
"It's such a shame. It was one of the best weeks of the year when I was up there.”
It was held at Coolum from 2002 to 2012.
"Royal Pines is a great venue but everyone really enjoyed going up to the Sunshine Coast and playing at Coolum,” he said.
"It was one of those weeks...everyone used to wait all year to get there. It was always good fun.
"It was always a golf course I really enjoyed playing. The week itself was probably one of my favourite weeks of the year.”
Fraser has a vivid memory of the event there. He was involved in a play-off with Greg Chalmers in 2011.
"I had to hole quite a long putt on the last hole to get into the play-off and then I hit it straight into the water off the tee in the play-off," he said.
"I think there's plenty of balls in that pond.”
Fraser is coming off the back of a hectic year, which included winning an event on the US PGA Tour and a strong showing at the Rio Games.
But he believes his form has waned amid a busy schedule and a lot of travelling so he'll approach next year differently.
He intends on doing less events, allowing him to spend more time at home, recovering from events, training and spending time with family.