Masters and apprentices

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith

Queenslander Adam Scott will be looking to end a disappointing year in which has slid down the world rankings with a victory in the Australian Masters when Australia's summer of golf tees off at Huntingdale on Thursday.

Scott, who was the toast of world golf in 2013 when he broke Australia's US Masters drought, has dropped out of the world's top 10 this year going winless and earning just $1.3 million after coming off big seasons the previous two years when his earnings topped $US 4million.

Scott failed to record a top-three finish in 2015.

His clash with young Texan and defending champion world No.1 Jordan Spieth in the Australian Open later this month with light up the summer of golf.

Spieth kick-started his march to the world's number one spot with his stunning victory in the 2014 Australian Open, which was only the second win of his budding career.

But the quality of the win, shooting a closing round of 63 to shut out his rivals by six strokes, proved the catalyst for victories in the US Masters and British Open this year.

The PGA Championship, which makes up final leg of the Triple Crown, is a co-sanctioned event with the European Tour, offering the richest purse of the summer and valuable points for the 2016 Race to Dubai.

While it may lack some of the big names of the Masters and Open, the PGA Championship will showcase some of golf's most exciting young talent, led by bright young Queensland prospect Cameron Smith, who caught the eye when finishing fourth in his first major appearance at the US Open this year, securing an invitation to the 2016 Masters and securing him his PGA Tour card next year.

"If I could end the season by winning my first professional tournament, it would be even better," he said.

"I have spent a lot of the year competing overseas and enjoyed every minute of the amazing opportunities I have been afforded, but there is nothing better than returning home and finishing my season on the Gold Coast."

Another exciting talent taking on the PGA is Ryan Fox, who had a breakout year, on the European Challenge Tour, winning the Le Vaudreuill Golf Challenge as well as making the cut at The Open, only to narrowly miss his playing card by a few thousand Euro.

"I am looking forward to playing the Australian PGA Championship as a European Tour co-sanctioned tournament," said Fox, the son of legendry All Black goal kicker, Grant Fox.

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