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Golf Australia Express : Issue 16
THEAUSTRALIAN Open. It’s a national open with a rich and colourful history. Names the likes of Player, Nicklaus, Watson, Palmer, Thomson, Norman and Westwood have held aloft it’s trophy—the Stonehaven Cup—at one point in time. With its inaugural staging back in 1904, it is one of Australia’s longest running tournaments. While it’s fair to say the Aussie Open has lost its way in recent years, this week’s event could be the start of its revival, thanks to a host of international players using it as a lead-in to the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne next week. Again at Sydney’s The Lakes Golf Club, the 2011 event will have a strong field battling out for the relatively modest $1.5 million. WHILETHE Shark no longer plays all that often, it doesn’t mean he’s any less competive these days than his over-competitive self of yesteryear. The 56-year-old Australian and International Presidents Cup captain is never more dangerous than on home soil. But more than being a serious threat this weekend—which realistically he isn’t —there’s an opportunity to watch one of the game’s greats tackle a player friendly course. If you’ve never experienced the aura and intimidation of Greg Norman on course, here’s your chance. WE’VE BEEN critical of Fred Couples. Not Freddie the individual or player, but the Presidents Cup captain. For the record, we do love him. And if there’s a more casual, free flowing golfer alive, we don’t know who it is. Don’t count out the Yank at the Lakes—his 2011 form has been vintage Fred. Two wins and six top 10s on the Champions Tour has shown us he’s still got the stuff that made him a legend. If his back holds up and his mind is not too PC focused he could surprise a few people in Sydney. OTG PEEK THE 2011 Emirates Australian Open November 10-13, 2011 The Lakes Golf Club, Sydney, AUSTRALIA Purse: $1,500,000 Defending Champ: Geoff Ogilvy (AUS) AUSSIE LEAD IN What’s happening on the Australasian Tour this week THE EVENT WHO TO WATCH GREG NORMAN (AUS) FRED COUPLES (USA)