Past Australian Open golf champions hit drives off the first tee: video

As part of the festivities ahead of the 100th Australian Open, past champions were honoured today with a commemorative driving ceremony off the first tee at The Australian.

All up, 19 past champions were honoured including three-time champion Peter Thomson (1951, 1967, 1972), David Graham (1977), Lee Westwood (1997), Adam Scott (2009), Geoff Ogilvy (2010) and Jordan Spieth (2014).

There is a real buzz about The Emirates Australian Open this year and this ceremony was a nice touch from tournament organisers. Golf fans got up close to some of the world’s greatest ever golfers and it was a special sight to see the likes of Geoff Ogilvy chatting to David Graham, Adam Scott speaking to Jack Newton; the bunch of them looking very relaxed.

With a bunch of media closing in around tee to watch the opening drives, several of the older players questioned whether they were safe as they teed up their golf ball. Peter Senior had the crowd laughing as he hit a half swing drive that barely made the fairway.

David Graham had not hit a shot all week and striped his own the middle of the fairway, Robert Allenby and Greg Chalmers hit their drives at the same time, and compère for the event lamented Peter Fowler an Rodger Davis’ tee shots having finished runner-up to both players in 1986 and 1983.

It was a superb start to the tournament and a great reminder the wonderful history of The Australian Open.

Full list of past Australian Open champions at today’s ceremony:
Peter Thomson (1951, ’67, ’72)
Frank Phillips (1957, ’61)
David Graham (1977)
Jack Newton (1979)
Bob Shearer (1982)
Peter Fowler (1983)
Rodger Davis (1986)
Peter Senior (1989, 2012)
Robert Allenby (1994, 2005)
Lee Westwood (1997)
Greg Chalmers (1998, 2011)
Stuart Appleby (2001)
Stephen Allan (2002)
Peter Lonard (2003, ’04)
John Senden (2006)
Craig Parry (2007)
Adam Scott (2009)
Geoff Ogilvy 2010)
Jordan Spieth (2014)

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