There are hopes Wagga's highly-regarded Pro-Am could hit new heights from next year after the Wagga Country Club announced a prizemoney increase, taking the event to a $50,000 purse.
Wagga Country Club general manager John Turner declared the event doesn't want to rest on its reputation, but continue to take steps to ensure it remains a popular stop on the circuit.
"We''ve been at $40,000 for a while and a lot of other events are at 50 so we're going to keep on pushing to improve our tournament and we hope pushing up the prizemoney will increase the quality of the field, " Turner said.
"We are the week after the NSW Open next year. It's a $400,000-$500,000 event so hopefully the next stop is Wagga and we can feature the players that usually come to us, and hopefully a few more."
Next year's Pro-Am will be on the weekend of March 24-25.
The prizemoney increase was accompanied by the announcement of a new major sponsor for the Pro-Am, PSC Insurance, and Turner said the support of all their local sponsors was also a big factor in keeping the event ahead of the times.
Wagga Country Club Professional, James Purcell has been in the Pro Shop for two years. But as a player, he came for six straight Pro-Ams a decade ago.
He said it's always been a hit with players, for good reason, and believes the 25 per cent increase for next year will only see the profile and attraction of the event soar and make it appealing to even more players.
With the course looking an absolute picture after a wet spring, Turner said the early work begins now to assemble next year's field.
"We'll send a few emails out and starting talking to guys. Last year we got Marcus Fraser, that was the first time he was here. We hope to get Marcus back," he said.
"Matt Millar as champion. We like to get our champions back and he's sort of become a favourite son of the membership. And we'll see what's out there. You never know your luck.
"A Peter Lonard or guys of that calibre we want to come here.
"It's great because players talk about how great the event is and when you're reaching out to (new) players and they contact others, they usually say, 'you've got to go to Wagga'.
"Now with the increase in prizemoney, new major sponsorship, the course is looking great too... all those things add up to another great event."
Peter O'Malley, Craig Parry, the late Jarrod Lyle, Dimi Papadatos, Nathan Green, Jordan Zunic and Millar have all played at Wagga.
Millar broke through for a long-awaited victory this year, winning in a playoff.
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