Returning King a fan of reconfigured Four Nations Cup - PGA of Australia

Returning King a fan of reconfigured Four Nations Cup

Despite believing he won’t be leant on for information by his teammates ahead of this week’s Four Nations Cup, TJ King will be sure to tell his fellow Aussies of the benefits of the event and improvement to the format.

By Jimmy Emanuel

Played across the Ocean Course at Moonah Links beginning September 19, the Four Nations Cup sees vocational PGA members from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada compete in match play. King the only Aussie to back up after last year’s inaugural event.

Based on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast at Mount Coolum Golf Club, King was part of the Aussie squad that went to South Africa in 2022 and this time around is joined by Tour veteran turned Royal Hobart Golf Club Teaching Pro Scott Laycock, Jayden Cripps and Brad McLellan.

Qualifying via last year’s PGA Professionals Championship, King can’t wait to represent his country and fellow PGA Members in 2023.

“It was awesome. I’d never really played golf in another country competitively,” King said.

“Representing Australia was pretty awesome, honoured to do it again. It was a cool experience, good team, good atmosphere, looking forward to next week as well.”

Despite that experience though, King doesn’t believe his teammates will be relying on him too much as they attempt to go one better than their second place behind last year’s champions Canada. Especially after a change in format.

“The guys may ask me a few questions about how we went about it, what worked, what didn’t, but honestly, it’s golf. Everyday can be different, let alone a year ago,” he said.

“This year’s format is better. They actually asked us for feedback, and I think this year’s format is better, and it will get a fairer result.”

That format moves from each of the four representatives from each country being placed in a group and playing their opponents in round robin style match play to daily head-to-head matches between countries.

The nation on top after four morning singles and afternoon fourballs earning one point, with the country possessing the most points at the conclusion of the event crowned champions and matches won used to break a tie.

King lighting up when discussing the rare opportunity to play match play as a professional, especially with the Australian flag alongside his name.

“I love match play. As I showed last year fairing quite well,” King said. “Pennants was always my favourite time of year as an amateur.

“Even during the Membership Pathway Program, the Pampling Plate, I made the semis and final in that a couple of years. I seem to thrive in that environment.”

And although he still harbours ambitions of playing full-time, King can see beyond the competitive benefit of the Four Nations Cup. Speaking highly of the concept and opportunity to meet fellow vocational pros from around the world to trade experiences, knowledge and even friendship.

“Last year in South Africa we created friendships that still result in the odd message,” King said. “I’ve already seen that two of the South Africans, and two from New Zealand are the same, looking forward to catching up with them again.

“It was definitely beneficial to me going over there last year and having those chats.”

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