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Americans heading to Australian PGA

Americans JB Holmes, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Moore, Jason Gore and Kevin Stadler are confirmed starters in next month's Australian PGA Championship at Coolum, organisers said Thursday.

They will vie with Australia's world No.6 Adam Scott and South Africa's world No.10 Rory Sabbatini for the 1.4 million dollar (1.26 million US) prize money.

A strong home field has also been assembled for Australia's oldest professional golf tournament, headed by world No.38 Stuart Appleby, Richard Green, John Senden, Peter Lonard, Brett Rumford, Mark Hensby, Nathan Green and Stephen Leaney.

Australian Nick OÂHern, ranked 42, will defend his title after a successful year in the United States, playing in the PresidentÂs Cup and finishing in the top 10 in three events.

Holmes won the FBR Open at his fourth start as a professional, beating Retief GoosenÂs record of being the fastest golfer to win more than one million US dollars on the US PGA Tour.

Moore, the world No.68, is a former US amateur champion and one of the rising stars on the tour there.

Stadler won the 2006 Johnnie Walker Classic at The Vines in Perth, earning an exemption to the European, US Nationwide and Australasian tours, after losing his US PGA Tour card in 2005.

Snedeker has had a stellar rookie year in the United States, winning the Wyndham Championship in August and finishing third in his third start on the tour at the Buick Invitational, behind Tiger Woods. That tournament saw him equal the Torrey Pines course record of 61.

Gore is only the second player in tour history to win on the secondary Nationwide Tour and the PGA tour in the same season.

The Australian PGA Championship will be played at the Coolum resort in Queensland from December 6-9.


November 15, 2007

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