DRIVER OF CHANGE: Paul Pisasale is the Queensland Open ambassador after helping revive the tournament.
DRIVER OF CHANGE: Paul Pisasale is the Queensland Open ambassador after helping revive the tournament. Rob Williams

Pisasale spreads the gospel of golf

PAUL Pisasale took up golf initially several years ago to help alleviate a health issue.

Which is why the Ipswich Mayor is honoured to today be appointed the official ambassador of the Queensland Open by the board of Golf Queensland.

Cr Pisasale, who has got his multiple sclerosis (MS) under control thanks largely to golf, was a pivotal figure in reviving the Queensland Open in 2013 and returning it to its rightful place on the PGA Tour of Australasia.

He has been a major supporter of the event since the days when it was held at the Ipswich Golf Club.

Cr Pisasale will be unveiled as the prestigious tournament's ambassador at a function at The Brisbane Golf Club in Yeerongpilly today, the course which will host the 2016 Queensland Open from October 20-23.

Luke Bates, the manager of Queensland Golf operations, said Cr Pisasale was a logical choice as ambassador of a tournament won previously by some of Australia's golfing legends.

"The board has recognised Paul's support in getting the tournament back, and it certainly wasn't an easy task at that time," Mr Bates said.

"It is also a case of recognising how he was a great supporter prior to that when the event was out at Ipswich Golf Club."

The Queensland Open came back to the fore at Brookwater Golf and Country Club in 2013 thanks to lobbying from Cr Pisasale.

"For three or four years it had been at Ipswich Golf Club and then it was at Gainsborough Greens, before it had a six year break," Mr Bates said.

"That was due to the global financial crisis. There were a lot of tournaments, not just the Queensland Open, which fell off the calendar."

Cr Pisasale, a 'burglar' who plays off a handicap of 23, said the ambassador role was one he would embrace.

"It is a great honour," Cr Pisasale said.

"I am never going to be a champion golfer, but I love the game. I took up golf to help with my MS, and it has helped with my co-ordination.

"But from my point of view, I just couldn't believe when the Queensland Open folded and that we were a state without our own championship."

"I worked with Golf Queensland and we got it to Brookwater and it is bigger and better than ever now.

"We need a prestigious tournament like the Queensland Open as a pathway for our young players.

"It is like in rugby league where you play for your club, for Queensland and then Australia.

"We need that progression with golf and that is why it is so wonderful the Queensland Open has been revitalised."

Mr Bates pointed out that the great Greg Norman, Ian Baker-Finch and Norman Von Nida have all won the tournament.

"Two years ago Andrew Dodt, a boy who grew up in Gatton, also won the event...which was also a great story," Mr Bates said.

"He has now got a full European Tour card and is going well."



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