The Australian Open will be played this week in Sydney for the 103rd time, and one of golf's oldest tournaments will be looking for a new title sponsor after Emirates Airlines exits this year.
Even with Emirates' support, the tournament has a purse of AUD$1.25 million, with the winner getting AUD$225,000. In the grand scheme of things, that's a $900,000 purse in American dollars, and that's a purse lower than the four Web.com Tour Finals events. In other words, top-ranked players aren't competing in this event for the potential payday, rather the history of the event, the great Australian golf and, yes, in some cases an appearance fee.
So, maybe Aussie Marcus Fraser had a novel idea when he suggested on Australian radio this week that the Australian Open should be played for a year without any kind of purse.
Speaking on "Macquarie Sports Radio Breakfast," Fraser said, “I’d love to see the idea of maybe not putting on any prize money at all. Purely just play for the Stonehaven Cup and just mix it up for a year.”
Fraser believes the trip to Australia and seeing the country and its incredible golf offerings might be worth it for Americans like Brandt Snedeker, Keegan Bradley and other international top players to compete.
“Give the guys in America a ticket to Australia and show them what Australia has to offer and get them to play in our great championship and see our great country at the same time, throw it all out of the woodwork and do something different," Fraser added.
That seems unlikely to convince players this time of year to do that, but perhaps co-sanctioning the Australian Open with the PGA Tour would do such a thing.