By Brian O’Hare
I TOOK a walk around The Australian Golf Club on Monday afternoon before the 100th running of the Emirates Australian Open.
There were some keen upcoming competitors playing practice rounds, golfers fine tuning their putting on the practice green, workers putting final touches to spectator facilities.
Definitely the calm before the storm.
I took some photos of the banners featuring defending champion Jordan Spieth and local hero Adam Scott.
Also photos of the 18th, just sitting there quietly waiting for Sunday afternoon when the final group will come down the fairway in a configuration yet to be decided.
Then I couldn’t help focussing on the first hole, when the first grouping, yet to be announced at his point, will tee off Thursday morning to get the whole thing underway.
The action will accelerate as the week progresses.
Tuesday will see official practice rounds and also the first of the media conferences showcasing the featured participants.
First up after tournament director Trevor Herden announcing initial pairings is our own remarkable Peter Senior … could he possibly capture another Stonehaven Cup after his historic Australian Masters win on the weekend … maybe. Would certainly be a truly great story. Whatever happens, Senior will give his all.
Then there will be Jordan Spieth, a young golfer who was only showing “great promise” when he arrived in Sydney last year. Now’s he’s a superstar returning to defend his title as he promised he would last year before winning the year’s first two majors. Everyone was so impressed with him last year and his respect for golf’s great traditions. How will he be this year after attaining the World No.1 ranking and being lauded as an upcoming all time great? Probably just the same.
On Wednesday there’s the chance for the local media to talk to British Open winner Darren Clarke, then Lee Westwood, then Adam Scott.
This will be the ninth straight Australian Open for ASG; we’ve been part of the working media in all those events and we think we’re starting to get the hang of it.
The Australian Open has become one of our favourite weeks in the world golfing calendar.
It’s not just the action that takes place on the course, but all the associated activities.
For members of the Australian Golf Writers Association it’s a big get together and hosts a number of related events . There’s usually an association championship on the Tuesday, this week at a new venue in the Bonnie Doon Golf Club, and a gala presentation dinner on the Saturday night, which this year will present a special award to David Graham.
Walking the fairways there are often many familiar faces in the crowd. You realise that volunteer marshal holding up “Quiet” sign is Peter you played with at your local club a few weeks ago. On the fairways, there’s all those famous guys.
So we’re ready Australian Open. Bring it on!