Our guide to the eleven Australians playing in this week’s 2016 Open Championship at Royal Troon.
2016 Open: 1st & 2nd round tee times (AEST)
Thurs 6:35am (3:35pm) – Colin Montgomerie, Marc Leishman, Luke Donald (Round 2 – 11:36am)
Thurs 6:46am (3:46pm) – Steven Alker, Marcus Fraser, Sanghee Lee (Round 2 – 11:47am)
Thurs 7:40am (4:30pm) – Alex Noren, Steven Bowditch, Kevin Chappell (Round 2 – 12:31pm)
Thurs 8:47am (5:47pm) – Victor Dubuisson, Jimmy Walker, Scott Hend (Round 2 – 1:38pm)
Thurs 9:25am (6:25pm) – Danny Willett, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day (Round 2 – 2:26pm)
Thurs 10:42am (7:42pm) – Brendan Steele, Richard Sterne, Matt Jones (Round 2 – 3:43pm)
Thurs 10:53am (7:53pm) – Patton Kizzire, Nicolas Colsaerts, Rod Pampling (Round 2 – 3:54pm)
Thurs 11:04am (8:04pm) – Dave Coupland, Nathan Holman, Phachara KhongWatmai (Round 2 – 4:05pm)
Thurs 11:36am (8:36pm) – Greg Chalmers, Kristoffer Broberg, Clement Sordet (Round 2 – 6:35am)
Thurs 11:58am (8:36pm) – Jordan Niebrugge, Nick Cullen, Robert Streb (Round 2 – 6:57am)
Thurs 2:15pm (11:15pm) – Zach Johnson, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson (Round 2 – 9:14am)
The 2015 Open Championship was where it all began for Jason Day. Finishing just a shot out of the playoff after leaving a makeable birdie putt short, Day went on to win the US PGa Championship and go on to dominate the rest of the year, eventually rising to number one in the world. Day gives himself a chance of winning nearly every major he starts in these days (five top-10’s in last five starts) and may finish the week as the first Australian to win The Open since Greg Norman in 1993.
Four top-10’s in his last four Open Championships, plus some decent form means Scotty will head to Royal Troon thinking he can erase all bad memories at The Open this week. Scott is the only Australian to tee off in the afternoon on Thursday, giving him an early start on Friday when things may get messy with the weather. We can see Scotty winning this week, provided he has a solid first round. You don’t want to be chasing at Royal Troon.
It may sound like we’re just pumping up the Aussies this week, but, well, yes we are. But for good reason. We haven’t had three Australian’s so capable of winning the same major for some time – and the third is Marc Leishman. Leish has been quietly building his game and is peaking for this week. Remember Leish missed a couple of putts last year to take the Claret Jug himself and only a bad lie on the first playoff hole saw his hopes dashed. Leishman is built for this tournament so don’t be surprised if he gives himself a shot to win this one again.
Bowditch is having a shocking time on the golf course and hasn’t broken 70 since late May. Despite a decent result at The Old Course last year, a windy Royal Troon may not be the best place for Bowditch to find his golf game.
Scott Hend is having a great 2016 and the big hitting Queenslander is heading to Rio as part of Australia’s Olympic golf team. Two victories have propelled Hend into the world’s top-100 golfers for the first time since 2014. Hend is hit or miss but look out if he starts striking the ball well this week. A smokey chance to be in the mix on the weekend.
Jones has struggled this year but a good finish at the WGC Bridgestone will buoy his confidence at The Open. Just two previous starts at The Open for Jones hasn’t produced the best results considering we would have expected the Sydneysider to enjoy links golf.
Strangely enough, Hend’s partner at the Olympics, Marcus Fraser is having a similar year to Hend and is a similar chance at Royal Troon this week. Fraser will relish the opportunity to get back to links golf and could fire if the weather gets tough.
Pampling arrives at Royal Troon for his ninth Open Championship but he hasn’t made the cut in his last three attempts. Since earning his spot courtesy of a fourth place finish at the Australian Open last November, Pampling has struggled with his game missing six cuts in 12 starts.
Cullen also earned his spot in his second Open courtesy of a fifth place finish at the Australian Open and like Pampling, his form has also been patchy at best. Missing the cut at Royal Lytham by a shot was one of Cullen’s greatest experiences and he’ll be out to go one shot better this week.
Chalmers earned his spot in the field after a fantastic victory at the Barracuda Championship a few weeks ago but prior to that his form has been ordinary. There is no better bloke in golf than Chalmers but we’re not sure Royal Troon will suit his game despite having a world class short/scrambling game.
Nathan Holman had a great 2015 season and tees up in his first Open Championship after finishing first on the Australasian Order of Merit. Holman has had some great experiences teeing it up in some big events this year but hasn’t made the most of his opportunities. The 25-year-old from Melbourne will be aiming to be playing on the weekend this week.