Aussies lament likely Tour conflicts

Stuart Appleby at the Australian Open

Stuart Appleby at the Australian Open

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9:48:01 AM ET. 04/20/2014




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Stuart Appleby anticipates a tough decision for his fellow Australians, and he’s not looking forward to it.

When the PGA Tour rolls out its anticipated schedule changes in the fall of 2013, the Aussies will face a quandary: play the season-opening U.S. events or return Down Under for their country’s version of major championships (Australian Open, Australian PGA and JBWere Masters).

“There’s certainly a tug there,” Appleby said. “One is professional, one is personal. We’ve always been, ‘Let’s go home and meet both needs.’ Now you can’t.”

Brian Thorburn, chief executive of the PGA of Australia, was expecting to meet with PGA Tour officials this week in Augusta, Ga., during the Masters and discuss the schedule conflict.

“There is no doubt these changes are only designed to benefit the U.S. tour and not designed with regard to implications on other tours,” Thorburn said in a recent interview with The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia. “That’s abundantly clear. It’s a significant decision that they have taken that will have implications on not just our tour but many others around the world.”

The Tour’s plan includes revamping Q-School as a route solely to the developmental tour. A final vote is expected at the June board meeting.

“It’s going to hit the Aussie Tour pretty hard,” Australian John Senden said. “I think it’s very unfortunate that the PGA Tour decided to go that way, but that’s what they thought was best for their Tour, and unfortunately it’s not the best for the Australian tournaments. We have got to make a decision come that time.”

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