Popular Australian golfer Craig Parry will return for another crack at the Queensland PGA Championship at City Golf Club later this month.
Popular Australian golfer Craig Parry will return for another crack at the Queensland PGA Championship at City Golf Club later this month. Nev Madsen

Popeye adds muscle for PGA battle

THIS month's Queensland PGA Championship in Toowoomba is set to host the best-credentialed field in the tournament's history with confirmation Craig Parry is a starter for the event.

Parry will head a list of world tour winners lining up in the tournament at City Golf Club from February 23-26.

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Other championship contenders include Peter O'Malley, Andrew Stolz, Scott Laycock and title-holder Gareth Paddison.

Highest-ranked player in the 144-strong field is 2004 winner Kurt Barnes.

Parry, affectionately known as Popeye, and O'Malley headlined last year's event played in the shadow of Toowoomba's January 10 flood disaster.

Both players expressed an eagerness to return for this year's event and Queensland PGA executive officer Broc Greenhalgh said the pair's appearance caps a star-studded line-up.

"This will be the best field in the history of the event, bar none," Greenhalgh said.

"The addition of Craig Parry just tops off a field of great names."

Barnes finished in a tie for sixth at last year's Queensland PGA Championship after shooting 13 under par.

He enters this year's tournament as one of Australia's in-form players.

Barnes scored twice on the international tour in 2011 with wins on OneAsia in May and in Japan during September.

He ended the year with top-15 finishes in the Australian PGA Championship at Coolum and Australian Masters at the Victoria Club.

Barnes is presently Australia's 12th highest-ranked player in the world and is focusing on the championship as a stepping stone to breaking into the world top 100 by the end of the year.

Past Queensland PGA winners include David Graham (1967), Greg Norman (1979) and Ian Baker-Finch in 1984.

A large number of championship contenders will contest the Victorian PGA from February 16-19 before converging on City Golf Club.


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