Rules Blog - Presidents Cup

Presidents Cup Blog

Simon Magdulski, Manager – Rules & Handicapping, Golf Australia Presidents Cup

And so finally, after four and half years of anticipation, the Big Show came to town. For those familiar with professional golf, the week-in, week-out movement of tournaments from city to city can be a little reminiscent of a travelling circus, or of a touring rock band. There’s the pre-event promotion and building of infrastructure, there’s the anticipation, there are the star acts, there’s the show itself, and then it’s off to the next venue to do it all again. But this was the big one, the Presidents Cup. Australian golf fans had been waiting a long time for their chance to witness the might of the USA against ‘our’ team, the Internationals, which as it happened featured five Aussies.

It is true that the Presidents Cup has been to Australia before – in 1998, the only time the Internationals have won the biennial showpiece – but this time it was somehow different. Maybe it was because on this occasion everything was not being truncated into a single week.

In reality, the show was lasting three weeks. Either side of the Presidents Cup had been scheduled the Australian Open and the Australian PGA. The Australian Open field boasted eight of the world’s best 20 players which led some to claim this as easily the best line-up in the event’s 107-year history.

The Australian Open venue was The Lakes, which is a Bubba Watson driver from Sydney Airport, and the crowds and atmosphere were terrific. For those into the Rules (or trivia, or both), one continuous lateral water hazard line we put down for the championship consumed 12 cans of paint and ran for approximately 2.5 kilometres all the way from the left of the 16th fairway to the rear of the 1st green.

At the Open (yes, in Australia, we call the Australian Open “the Open”!), my primary role is director of referees. Looking after the playing side of the event, for the Open I report to Golf Australia’s Tournament Director, Trevor Herden. But it’s not just about Golf Australia. I will closely consult with the Australasian PGA Tour’s Director of Tournaments Andrew Langford-Jones (or “Langers” as everyone at The R&A and in world golf knows him). Langers is involved in the management of big events internationally right throughout the year, so I’m always keen to get his take on the subtleties of the various situations that need to be worked through.

Presidents Cup