THE 2016 Australian Open at Royal Sydney might have lost one of its biggest drawcards in Jason Day but golf fans will have a plethora of past champions to see in action this November.
We already knew that Adam Scott (2009 winner) and Jordan Spieth (2014) would be lining up but now have confirmation of six more previous Aussie winners.
They include a who’s who of modern Australian golf.
First to mention is Aaron Baddeley, who will be returning to the club at which his career exploded with his victory as an 18 year old amateur in 1999.
Baddeley, who won for the fourth time on the US PGA TOUR this season (pictured above), has had seven top-10 finishes at the Australian Open, but hasn’t played since 2013 as he sought to maintain his American playing rights.
“I always look forward to going back to the Australian Open,” Baddeley said.
“I have so many special memories at this event, highlighted by my win as an amateur at Royal Sydney in ’99.
“There truly is nothing like coming home and playing in front of an Aussie crowd!”
Another to have won the Stonehaven Cup around the famous Rose Bay layout is Queenslander John Senden, while his good mate and dual champion Greg Chalmers (pictured above at the 2014 event) is also back from Texas to compete.
“The chance to compete for the national championship is something we all cherish,” said Chalmers, the 1998 and 2011 champ who also won on the US PGA Tour this season for the first time in his long career.
“It’s one we’ll all be excited for, especially against such a great field that’s being built again this year.”
Senden said the host club held special memories after his 2006 victory.
“I’ll never forget winning the Aussie Open at Royal Sydney – it was a huge moment in my career and it’s something I’d love to repeat in November.”
Joining them will be another dual champion in Robert Allenby (1994, 2005) and fellow Victorians Geoff Ogilvy (2010) and Stephen Allan (2002).
Tournament director Trevor Herden said the addition of the past champions gave the field great depth and a lot of talking points.
“These guys do a great job as ambassadors of Australian golf around the world each year and it’s great to see them continue to return to support their national championship,” Herden said.
“They’re added to Scott (2009) and Spieth (2014) as other past champions in the field, so it’s building nicely and we’re eager to announce some more big names soon.”
The Emirates Australian Open is a flagship tournament on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and will be played November 17 – 20. The winner will receive a minimum of 32 Official World Golf Ranking points.
The event will be telecast all four days on Channel 7.
Tickets are on sale now from Ticketek at www.ticketek.com or by calling 132 849.
Website: Australian Open website