After a great deal of sabre-rattling on both sides, the Australian PGA has struck a compromise with billionaire eccentric Clive Palmer, owner of the Palmer Coolum resort, to ensure that the association’s annual championship goes ahead as planned.
The viability of the event was called into question by a series of bizarre local initiatives, including plans to scatter 161 life-size dinosaur models throughout the property, paint advertisements directly onto fairways and festoon the venue with billboard advertising for Palmer’s latest film production, Titanic II (“100 years later, lightning strikes twice”).
The precise terms of the last-minute agreement are subject to some speculation, but players remain certain to come into close contact with “Jeff”, an eight-metre high, 20-metre long tyrannosaur currently in place behind the ninth and tenth holes, and up to 61 spray-painted advertisements.
Unsurprisingly, the PGA of Australia has since issued a statement bringing to an end its decade-long association with the venue. The organisation’s chief executive Brian Thorburn attributed the decision to a forecasted shortfall in advertising revenue.
Peter Senior, winner of last week’s Australian Open, declared himself untroubled by Jeff, “as long as he doesn’t crap everywhere.”