The duel between the World’s best golfers is the obvious talking point of the Emirates Australian Open starting Thursday. The pair meet again at the Australian Open after an enthralling final round in the same tournament a year ago, and despite not being paired together for the first two rounds are destined to be the focal points of much of the tournament coverage. Competing for attention are a host of local journeymen (Allenby, Appleby, Ogilvy), some younger starlets (Oliver Goss, Cameron Smith), and overseas visitors (Jordan Speith). The result of which should be an epic Australian Open.
The patriotically named host of the Australian Open is one of Australia’s most exclusive golf clubs. The Australian is old too; potentially the oldest in Australia, just beating out Royal Melbourne and Royal Sydney. The private members course, that is only available to join by invitation only, has hosted countless Australian Open’s, including the first tournament in 1904. In doing so, the course has seen the best players in the World vie for the Stonehaven Cup, in what many pros think should be the fifth major. The likes of Nick Faldo, Raymond Floyd and Jack Nicklaus have all visited and rated the course highly; Niklaus even etching his name on the silverware in the process. The most recent Australian Open winner at the 6610m, Par 72 course was current joint course record holder, Craig Parry.
The Sound Bites
“I just remember it as a long, tough, demanding golf course and that suits me” – Adam Scott
“I’ve spent more than a year of my career at number one, so if I’m not used to it by now, then there’s something wrong. I enjoy it. It’s where I want to be. I want to be the best in the world and I want to keep it for as long as I can” – Rory McIlroy
The Defending Champion
Rory McIlroy – Last year Rory McIlroy made a birdie at the final hole to stop Australia’s Adam Scott from completing a rare triple crown of Australian wins. McIlroy put a torrid year of management and equipment issues behind him to record his only win of the year at the Royal Sydney Golf Club. Rory is paying just $3.50 at Luxbet to repeat his Australian Open win.
Adam Scott – $5
John Senden – $23
Geoff Ogilvy – $26
*Australian Open odds for local picks courtesy of Tom Waterhouse.
Jordan Speith $12
Brendon de Jonge $34
Kyle Stanley $61
*Australian Open odds for International picks courtesy of Centrebet.
Rhein Gibson (Aus) – $51 – BetEasy
Bet on Henrik Stenson to become the BMW PGA Championship Winner.
Back Australia to take the Ashes home with them.
Back Rafael Nadal to become the Mens French Open Winner.
Back One For Arthur to win the Grand National.
Back Mexico to win the Confederations Cup.