Unheralded Aussie recalls Donald Trump handing him $1 million cheque

Unheralded Brisbane pro Stuart Deane is hoping to take the cash from the world's best golfers at the US PGA Championship, 11 years after collecting $1 million off Donald Trump.

Deane, 45, earned entry to play against golf's biggest stars at Quail Hollow this week by finishing in the top 20 at the PGA of America's club professionals championship in Oregon last month.

The 1990 Brisbane Golf Club champion, played a practice round with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson on Wednesday, made sporting headlines in 2006 when he was a shock winner of the made-for-television Trump Million Dollar Invitational, held at the Trump International Golf Club at Raffles Resort on Canouan Island in the Grenadines.

With no status on the US PGA Tour or its second tier, Deane progressed through 54 holes of qualifying to win a sudden-death, nine-hole shootout. Trump, a decade before he was elected President of the U.S., then presented Deane with novelty cheque for $US1 million.

"I've still got the big cheque on my wall at home," Deane said on Wednesday. "I know people who work for the Trump organisation who joke with me, 'You're the only one who has got a cheque from the President'.

"Mr Trump was great. I used to be able to call him on his cell phone and say G'day. He was incredibly gracious to me and everything I did, it was absolutely awesome."

The $1 million prize helped to finance Deane's attempt to win a US PGA Tour card, but, hindered by a series of injuries, he earned just $28,354 from 10 events before moving into golf teaching. He is now the director of golf coaching at the University of Texas at Arlington.

The final major championship of 2017 is Deane's second appearance at the PGA Championship, and his 12th Tour event. He played in the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Kentucky, and last month he contested the Byron Nelson Classic in texas, where he missed the cut.

Deane, with one of his University of Texas golf students on the bag, is hopeful he can make the cut this week.

"I'm one of 20 club professionals who made it to the PGA Championship," he said. "But we're all competitors; we've all played PGA Tour events in the past. I hope I can really get off to a good start. Making the cut is realistic and finishing the top 50 is realistic, but I've got to do a lot of things right."