Olympian Marcus Fraser is proposing officials scrap Australian Open prize money in a bid to lure more of the world's best golfers down under.
Fraser, who proudly wore the green and gold for Australia at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, would like to see the tournament "mix it up for a year" after struggling to attract any players in the world's top 25 for this week's Open in Sydney.
The Open has been spoilt in recent years with a raft of superstars including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, two-time champion Jordan Spieth and fellow former World No.1s Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and Adam Scott headlining the fields.
The biggest names teeing up in 2019 are American stars Matt Kuchar (World No.29) and Keegan Bradley (World No.30), both recent winners on the PGA Tour.
Cameron Smith is the top local hope in the absence of Day, Scott and Marc Leishman.
Fraser on Tuesday floated the radical idea of ditching prize money, which this year totals $1.25 million, with $225,000 going to the winner.
"I would love to have my name on that trophy. That's what it's all about.” – Marcus Fraser
"I'd love to see the idea of maybe not putting on any prize money at all," he told Macquarie Sports Radio Breakfast.
"Purely just play for the Stonehaven Cup and just mix it up for a year."
He suggested promoting Australia as a destination instead, as well as reminding players of the prestige of the Stonehaven Cup – a famous trophy won by Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Peter Thomson, Tom Watson, Sam Snead, Gene Sarazen, Bobby Locke, Norman Von Nida and Kel Nagle.
In modern times, the likes of Spieth, McIlroy, Scott, Greg Norman and Ian Baker-Finch have all reigned.
Fraser said he'd personally have no qualms playing for no prize money.
"I would love to have my name on that trophy. That's what it's all about," he said.
"Don't worry about the prize money, it's all about the championship."
- Darren Walton, Australian Associated Press