Home-grown hero Cameron Davis has confirmed he’ll defend his Australian Open title.
Sydneysider Davis, 23, has foregone an early-season start as a new member on the PGA Tour and will be back at The Lakes from November 15-18 in a bid to be the first person since Peter Lonard in 2004 to keep a grip on the Stonehaven Cup.
It will continue a busy few weeks for Davis, who will then tee it up for just his second crack at the Australian PGA Championship from November 29 – December 2 at RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast.
Davis’ return to New South Wales will be a few days short of one year after the week that turned his life – his maiden professional victory on the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia and the title he dreamt of growing up.
Last year, Davis came to Sydney ranked No.1494 in the world; next month he’ll be home with that mark likely inside the top 100 after a stunning first full year in the United States.
Davis, who began with limited status on the secondary Web.Com Tour, won the Nashville Open, finished top 40 on his major championship debut at The Open and then wrapped up his PGA Tour card with two third placings in the Web playoffs.
RIGHT: Davis stormed home to win the 2017 Australian Open after trailing by six shots after 54 holes. PHOTO: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images.
“It has been a big year, that’s for sure,” Davis said with typical understatement.
“But I think like all the guys I’ve come through the ranks with, I’ve always put great importance on playing the big tournaments in the Australian summer and I can’t wait to get home and play the Open and PGA.
“It meant the world to me to win the Stonehaven Cup last year and I’m honoured to come home and defend, but also to try to get my hands on the Kirkwood Cup on the Gold Coast, too.”
Davis – along with Greg Chalmers, Bob Shearer and Bruce Devlin – is one of just four players to win the Australian Open-Australian Amateur double since World War 2.
He will join reigning PGA champion Cam Smith, who’s aiming to be the fifth on that list, in playing both events against fields featuring top pros from tours around the world.
Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt said it was inspiring to see the Aussie youngsters taking on the raiders.
“I’ve always put great importance on playing the big tournaments in the Australian summer.” – Cameron Davis
“We’ve known for a while that we have some special talent coming through and it’s fantastic to see both Camerons really prioritise their home tour like this,” Pitt said.
“Cam Davis was stunning last year in coming from six back on the final day … it will be fascinating to see his title defence at The Lakes and also for so many of his home fans to celebrate his extraordinary season alongside him.”
Gavin Kirkman, CEO of the PGA of Australia, said: “Last year Cameron Davis showed Australian golf fans that he has what it takes to be an international star; he returns to defend his Australian Open title a Web.com Tour winner and PGA Tour member.
“What an incredible year it has been for the young man, it is wonderful to see him return home and continue to support the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia by playing both the Open and PGA.”