Rory McIlroy joins all the best Australian golfers at the Australian Open this week at Royal Sydney.
Early last year, US PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem announced that the world’s most lucrative golf tour would all run year round. The PGA Tour would re-start each year in October, a huge blow for golf tours around the world, Australia’s included.
The ‘Big-3’ Australian tournaments were squeezed into what was the only time when there were no PGA Tour events scheduled so that our best players could return home and compete. But a year-round PGA Tour schedule means that every week is precious to those on the tour and it was thought that very few Australians on the PGA tour would make the trip home this year.
The uninterrupted PGA Tour schedule, combined with a shift to earlier dates for the Australian PGA Championship and Australian Masters meant weaker fields at these events but it seems it hasn’t affected the Australian Open field so much.
The 2013 Australian Open tees off at Royal Sydney this week featuring marquee names such as Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day, but the best of the rest of Australian golf will also be there.
Matt Jones, Stuart Appleby and Marcus Fraser are the latest players to confirm their places at next week’s Emirates Australian Open and they join John Senden, Geoff Ogilvy, Aaron Baddeley, Greg Chalmers, Robert Allenby, Nick O’Hern, Scott Gardiner, Cameron Percy, Craig Parry, Rod Pampling and defending champion Peter Senior.
World Number 43 Kevin Streelman is also joining the field after playing some great golf at Royal Melbourne the past two weeks.
Golf Australia CEO Stephen Pitt said there was tremendous depth in the field and the fans were in for a sensational week as Adam Scott aims for the triple crown.
“Wherever you are, if you can get to Royal Sydney Golf Club next week, you’re in for a fantastic four days of golf action as the Adam Scott hype reaches fever pitch,” Pitt said. “The strength in this field is its depth and the international flavour. While we’ll all be cheering Adam on to the triple crown, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and the multitude of leading Australian players will all have their own plans for the Stonehaven Cup,” Pitt said.
Adding to the week’s excitement will be the introduction of The Open Qualifying Series – Australia with the top three players not already exempt earning their place at The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool (Hoylake) in July 2014.
“This adds further prestige to Australia’s most coveted title and gives our competitors a wonderful opportunity to earn direct qualification into golf’s oldest Major,” Pitt said.
The Emirates Australian Open also has an added incentive for players this year with the top three players not already exempt earning their place at The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool (Hoylake) in July 2014.
The Emerates Australian Open will be broadcast live on the Seven Network across all four days and the championship will again be sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia and OneAsia.