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Presidents Cup may return to Australia

The Presidents Cup made huge strides this year, from the high level of play that kept the matches close from the start to the dramatic finish when Chris DiMarco made the winning putt on the 18th hole of the final singles match.

American players wanted to be on this team, and it showed.

The next test for this 12-year-old event is how far Americans are willing to travel.

The Presidents Cup will be held at Royal Montreal in 2007, which is a shorter trip than going to the West Coast, and the prevailing sentiment is to return to the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in 2009.

After that, it could be headed Down Under.

Australian officials met with the PGA Tour brass during the Presidents Cup with hopes of getting the matches in 2011, the next available date on foreign soil. One group was from New South Wales, and the other was from Victoria.

``Both met with us, and they would very much like to sit down with us about having the Presidents Cup in 2011,'' said Mike Bodney, the tour's senior vice president of championship management.

Bodney said it was too early to decide where the Presidents Cup is headed. Tour officials would like to plan further out than two years, without getting too far into the future like the Ryder Cup (get your tickets now to the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits).

The Americans had their worst loss in team competition at Royal Melbourne in 1998, in part because the matches were staged on the other side of the world two weeks before Christmas. The fallout was felt for five years, and some U.S. players were far from enthused about going to South Africa in 2003 until they got there.

Bodney said if the Presidents Cup went back to Australia, it would be held not much later than Thanksgiving.

And there is no shortage of great courses, especially in Melbourne, which has perhaps the best collection of championship courses of any city in the world -- Royal Melbourne, Metropolitan, Kingston Heath, Yarra Yarra, Huntingdale and Victoria, to name a few.

New South Wales Golf Club also was mentioned, but Bodney said while it was one of the more spectacular courses in the world, its cramped space might not allow it to stage the Presidents Cup.

The Australian also was raised as a possibility.

Tour officials plan to meet this month to review the last Presidents Cup and figure out where it is headed -- not only golf courses, but the next captains.


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