The PLAY TODAY NSW Open Golf Championship, one of the most important fixtures on the national sporting calendar, is set to showcase Australasia’s best golfers on one of the Murray Region’s finest layouts this March.
Minister for Tourism Ben Franklin announced today the 92-year-old Championship would head to the renowned Rich River Golf Club, Moama, from March 16th to 19th, 2023.
“The NSW Open Golf Championship is a significant event on the State’s sporting calendar, which the NSW Government is proud to support again in 2023,” Mr Franklin said.
“Moama is a jewel of regional NSW and the Rich River Golf Club is one of the nation’s finest courses, which will attract thousands of fans to watch some of Australia’s best golfers vie for the Kel Nagle Cup.”
“The Championship will draw fans, competitors and officials from across the nation, staying in hotels and spending locally in cafes, bars and restaurants, providing a major economic boost to the NSW Riverina region.”
Stuart Fraser, CEO of Golf NSW, was thrilled with the venue, adding the economic benefits of hosting the NSW Open in a region just beginning its recovery following the recent floods would be significant.
“This is a fabulous opportunity for us to take the PLAY TODAY NSW Open to a region where it will provide a much-needed financial boost to those directly impacted by some of the worst floods in the State’s history.
“The public has been incredibly resilient during this challenging time, and we are thrilled we can hold the tournament in a community like Moama at the Rich River Golf Club.
“This is another excellent example of how our sport delivers as good corporate citizens,” Mr Fraser said.
Nick Dastey, ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasian Tournaments Director, said confirmation of the venue for the NSW Open on the 2022-2023 schedule was significant, falling at a crucial period as players battle for vital order-of-merit points.
“This a real coup for the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and our players,” Dastey said. “Rich River is a fantastic venue and one that the PGA of Australia is very familiar with having staged many events there in the past.”
“There’s no doubt the tournament will deliver a much-need boost to a community heavily impacted by floods, and we are excited to be staging another Tour event along the Murray River.”
Rich River Golf Club CEO Shane Gloury said he expected the course to be in excellent shape for the Championship.
“The tournament will be held on the East Course here at Rich River,” Mr Gloury said.
“We’ve just installed a new irrigation system and completed some significant bunkering upgrades, so the course condition will be at another level when the Championship comes around.
“We know Rich River will be a worthy test when the field lines up here next year.”
Host Venue: Rich River Golf Club, Twenty-Four Lane, Moama, NSW 2731
Dates: 16- 19 March 2023
Prize Fund: AU$400,000 (Min)
Rich River Golf Club, one of the seven ‘Golf On The Murray Clubs’, offers visitors exquisite golf along Australia’s largest river, the mighty Murray.
Immaculately presented, Rich River places a premium on position off the tee as much as length, and will be a worthy challenge for the 144 players vying for the Kel Nagle Cup.
The New South Wales Open Golf Championship has a rich history stretching back to 1931, predating the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.
First held at Manly Golf Club, the tournament was initially played as a ‘close’ format championship, meaning it was open only to residents of New South Wales (*See note of Concord winners below).
Tom Howard, Sam Richardson, and Charlie Gray finished in a three-way tie in the inaugural event, with Charlie Gray lifting the title after a 36-hole play-off.
The Open grabbed the NSW public’s attention during the Great Depression when many had little to look forward to other than cheering on our sporting heroes. As the decade wore on, it quickly became the tournament ‘They all wanted to play’, becoming one of the big three tournaments, sitting alongside the Australian Open and the Australian PGA Championship.
In 1958 the tournament finally became a truly ‘Open’ event, attracting the cream of Australia’s golfing elite along with appearances by some of the best players in the world.
The NSW Open Championship boasts an honour roll containing many of Australia’s finest golfers, including World Golf Hall of Fame inductees Kel Nagle, Greg Norman, Norman Von Nida and Peter Thomson.
Legends & Today’s Stars
Other names to lift the Kel Nagle Cup include Ian Baker-Finch, Frank Phillips, Ted Ball, Billy Dunk, Peter Lonard, Jack Newton, Peter O’Malley, Craig Parry, Bob Shearer, Ian Stanley, & Jason Scrivener.
2021 Champion and one of the rising stars of Australian Golf, Sydney Amateur Harrison Crowe, is expected to defend his title before jetting out to contest the US Masters in Augusta, Georgia, in early April.