$50 000 cash prize at Wagga's Pro-Am

WAGGA PRO-AMBy Simon BrunsdonPGA NSW-ACT tournament co- ordinator Darryl Purchase was yesterday left gobsmacked after hearing about the Wagga Pro-Am's latest radical idea.A surprised Purchase could not believe his ears following the announcement an added $50,000 has been injected into the highly-recognised golfing tournament.Wagga Pro-Am committeeman Mathew Longmore was yesterday bursting to announce the event's major sponsor Country Energy has secured the massive amount of money, which will be injected in the form of a hole-in-one prize.Any professional player on the card for the two-day competition who shoots a hole-in-one on the 18th will be rewarded with the cash prize.Purchase yesterday admitted while he had not yet heard of the added incentive by the pro-am committee, he can see it being a huge boost for the whole tournament."A cash prize that size is sure to increase interest in the pro-am," Purchase declared yesterday."I'm not sure if it will actually boost the number of competitors, because you don't enter a competition just hoping to get a hole-in-one, but it will definitely add a bit of value."$50,000 is a lot of money for getting a hole-in-one, that's definitely the highest prize I know of."It should definitely increase the value for spectators, that will be the big thing."Wagga's premier annual golf tournament continues to ascend the ranks of recognition in Australia, having added the idea of a "week of golf" just months ago.Longmore says with this new added incentive, he can see the event continue to rise even higher in the future."With this $50,000 extra that puts the total money for the week close to $100,000 which is pretty exciting," Longmore said."Even the big tournaments have not got hole-in-one prizes to that amount."The 18th is a good hole because it's a bit longer par three and it's right in front of the gallery."So far 15 professional players have put their names down to compete at the Wagga Country Club in March, and entries close on February 16.