In the face of rejection, the Australian Masters has once again produced a world class field.
When Golf Australia announced that the Australian Open would precede the Presidents Cup was going to be the Australian Open in Sydney, one could have forgiven tournament organisers of the JBWere Australian Masters to be a little, well, annoyed.
Instead of complaining and throw an almighty dummy-spit, JBWere Masters organisers just went and found a date that worked around the other events, and went got the world’s best golfer to come and play.
In addition to enticing Luke Donald to Victoria, the always flairy and fiery Ian Poulter is here, along with Italian teen prodigy Matteo Manassero. Greg Chalmers will be aiming for three tournaments in a row, good mates Geoff Ogilvy and Robert Allenby are in the field, and defending champion Stuart Appleby will be playing.
IMG own and promote the Australian Masters, and they worked in partnership with the Victorian Government in 2008 to put the tournament back on the world golfing calendar. They moved the tournament away from its regular home at Huntingdale and attracted Tiger Woods to the tournament in 2009, which up until a few weeks ago, was the last tournament he had won.
The 2010 tournament was still a huge event and with Tiger Woods again
bought brought in the field, the Australian summer of golf seemed invigorated, thanks largely to the Australian Masters.
In late 2012, the PGA of Australia announced that there would be no room on the golf calendar for the JBWere Masters with the Australian Open, Presidents Cup and the Australian PGA Championship taking precedence.
It initially looked like the tournament would have to be shelved for a year. We then heard rumours that a rebel tournament was to be hosted during Australian Open week attracting the lion’s share of the visiting American players but none of it eventuated.
Instead, what we have is an Australian Masters being held very late in the year, but with a fantastic field of golfers who once again have been lured to Australia with cash. And golf fans at Victoria Golf Club and around Australia this week will love every minute of it.