Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson and Geoff Ogilvy are confirmed starters for the 2011 Australian Open at The Lakes in Sydney in November.
After a controversial decision to grant the Australian Open the week ahead the Presidents Cup, many wondered if the big names may take the week off to practice. It seems as though tournament organisers are on the front foot by announcing these big names early and justifying the scheduling decision.
World Number 11 Bubba Watson and World Number 13 Dustin Johnson have confirmed they will be playing in the $1.5 million 2011 Australian Open, along with defending champion Geoff Ogilvy and Presidents Cup captains Greg Norman and Fred Couples.
A media release sent out today adds:
In what is shaping up to be one of the biggest years for Australian golf on record, the quintet are the first marquee players to confirm their places at Australia’s most revered championship which will be played at The Lakes Golf Club in 2011 and 2012 and other names will be released in the near future.
The 33 year-old said he was delighted to be able to defend his title during a year in which the spotlight will firmly be on Australian golf.
“Winning the Stonehaven Cup for the first time last year was a special moment in my career and something I’ll always remember, being my National Open,” Ogilvy said.
“It’s fantastic to hear that so many of the US and International Team members will be in Sydney before the Presidents Cup,” Ogilvy added.
Big hitting American Bubba Watson will play the Australian Open for the first time since 2005.“I’m really looking forward to playing in the Australian Open in Sydney,” Watson said. “It will be my first trip to Sydney and I’ll certainly be aiming to leave the Harbour City with the Stonehaven Cup.”
Fellow American Dustin Johnson will make the Australian Open his first career appearance Down Under. At just 25, Johnson is a four-time US PGA Tour winner including the BMW Championship in last year’s FedEx Cup Play Offs.
Golf Australia CEO Stephen Pitt said Sydney would see a spectacular array of golfing talent.“There is the potential for this to be one of the most impressive Australian Open fields in a long time and we’ve got ongoing interest from many of the world’s best players to play and we are looking forward to making further announcements.”
The Championship will again be co-sanctioned by OneAsia and the PGA Tour of Australasia.
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