In-form Sim heads favourites at Queensland Open

For the first time since 1990, when local hero Ian Baker-Finch claimed victory at the Queensland Open, the Sunshine Coast will play host to the state championship.

The tournament starts tomorrow at Pelican Waters Golf Club as part of the revamped 2020 PGA Tour of Australasia. The prize money of AU$137,500 has attracted a strong local field including defending champion Jordan Zunic.

Jordan Zunic Jordan Zunic won the 2018 Queensland Open (Credit: PGA Australia)

“It’s great to come back and play the event and to move to somewhere different as well up here on the Sunshine Coast, it’s a really beautiful place,” Zunic said.

“I haven’t been up here a lot so I’m just staying down at Caloundra and it’s a stunning part of the world. It should be a really cool week.”

“If I could just put four good days together this week I’m sure I could be right up there again and be in contention which would be great.”

“My game is feeling really good and I’ve got my coach up here with me so he’s just fine-tuning and making sure everything’s where it should be. Then it’ll just be a matter of working out a game plan to play the course.”

Other marquee players in the field include Japan Golf Tour winner Brad Kennedy, who narrowly missed victory at last week’s QLD PGA, Challenge Tour winner Dimitrios Papadatos and the red hot in-form Michael Sim – winner of last week’s QLD PGA Championship and former winner of these championships in 2017.

Pelican Waters Golf Club was the first ever Greg Norman-designed course on the Sunshine Coast and from the tips measures 6,359 with its undulating fairways that weave in and around wetlands providing plenty of challenges for the field.

First played in 1925, the championship’s honour board features some of Australia’s greats including Norman Von Nida, Ossie Pickworth, Kel Nagle, Billy Dunk and Ted Ball.

In more recent times the championship has been a spring board for players looking to forging a professional career with major winners Greg Norman, David Graham and Ian Baker-Finch all having their name on the trophy.

Stuart Appleby won as an amateur in 1991 as did Brett Coletta in 2016, and more recently Andrew Dodt (2014) with Jordan Zunic lifting the trophy last in 2018.