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Sergio Garcia commits to Australian PGA

Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia has committed to playing in February's Australian Masters at Melbourne's Huntingdale Golf Club.

The world No.14 is the first major draw secured by tournament organiser International Management Group (IMG), although Ernie Els, Nick Price, Jesper Parnevik and Phil Mickelson are reportedly pencilled in.

Garcia finished third at the same tournament last year, behindwinner Michael Campbell of New Zealand, despite a late arrival, limited preperation and an awful opening round.

And in another boost to the Australasian PGA Tour IMG managing director Martin Jolley announced a new tournament to be staged in Perth from 2002.

The yet-to-be-named tournament, with a prize pool of AUS$1.5 million (about 561,000), will be held at the acclaimed Lake Karrinyup course for five years, with an option for five more.

It will replace the Heineken Classic, which is moving to Melbourne, and take place in the week before the Australian Open in November.

"We plan to hold the tournament on the same course every year and would like to create a tradition in the same way we've done at Huntingdale with the Ericsson (Australian) Masters," said Jolly.

Lake Karrinyup has been the venue for four Australian Opens.

Meanwhile, Sweden's Pierre Fulke, winner of the Volvo Mastersearlier this month, pulled out of this week's Australian PGA at Royal Queensland.

Fulke will represent Sweden at the World Cup in Buenos Aires the following week and said he needed time to travel to South America.

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