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Palmer to force PGA's hand

By AAP .
14 December 2012 05:46PM EST

DINOSAURS tweeting and sharks coming down with food poisoning, it's been a wacky week at Clive Palmer's Jurassic-Titanic wonder world.

There also just happens to be a golf tournament - one of Australia's oldest - being played on the resort's fairways, many of which have been converted into grassy billboards bearing painted flags or messages of peace and free speech.

Palmer and PGA of Australia officials unimpressed by his changes have been unable to reach a new deal to keep the tournament at Coolum where it's been staged since 2002.

There were rumours flying on Friday that Palmer would announce a new deal had been struck to keep the tournament at the Sunshine Coast course.

If he was, it was certainly news to the PGA of Australia, whose boss Brian Thorburn declared earlier this week the tournament was headed for a new home.

It's understood PGA officials were upset by some heavy-handed tactics used when they complained about the high number of painted advertisements around the Coolum course.

Palmer believes his Tyrannosaurus nicknamed Jeff, who stands between the ninth green and 10th tee, has given the PGA Championship a massive international profile boost.

"I think the PGA will stay at Palmer Coolum Resort ... I'm pretty confident there's not a better place in Australia to have the PGA," he said despite Thorburn's earlier comments suggesting otherwise.

"It's got all the facilities. It's got international standing and, as we know, the players love it.

"I'm sure it's going to stay there."

The PGA of Australia would disagree.

They would prefer to think their historic golf tournament, which carries the names of Greg Norman, Kel Nagle, Gary Player and Peter Thomson, has more pulling power the prehistoric Jeff.

Palmer has called an early-morning press conference for Saturday, supposedly to dedicate the ninth fairway to former US President John F Kennedy.

It's just the latest play in a bizarre week which is not over by any means yet.

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