NEW Zealander Gareth Paddison will defend his Victorian PGA Championship title at Creswick’s Forest Resort in January.
PGA Australia yesterday confirmed Paddison’s defence.
He will return as one of the favourites.
He is sitting fourth on the PGA Tour of Australasia order of merit – one of three New Zealanders in the top four.
Michael Hendry is on top from Queensland’s Adam Scott, with Mark Brown third.
Paddison made a rapid rise up the 2012 order of merit by tying for fourth behind Scott in the Australian Masters.
He has carried this form in the NZ Open, in which he begins today’s third round two shots off the pace in equal fourth position.
Paddison stood firm in a fourth round battle with Victorian James McLean to claim this year’s Victorian PGA title.
“It was a real dog fight in the end to cross the finish line,” he said.
“I am just glad that I did it.”
Forest Resort’s Aaron Hipwell welcomed the return of Paddison.
“It’s fantastic to see Paddison returning to defend his title.
“We are getting together a great list of players together with other players to confirm over coming weeks.”
The PT Plumbing Victorian PGA Championship will be played on January 17-20 – almost a month earlier than this year.