Baddeley, Jones head ex-champs at Aussie Open
Any tournament that can boast at least 12 of its past champions in the field is always going to draw a crowd.
And while not all of those past champions could be deemed genuine threats at The Australian Golf Club next month, there are a couple who will definitely go up a notch when they put their feet back on Australian soil.
Matt Jones won the Australian Open title in 2015 (Credit: Anthony Powter)
Both Aaron Baddeley and Matt Jones have the credentials to bag another Stonehaven Cup when it is contested from December 5-8.
And you could make a case that Baddeley is bringing some of his very best form to Sydney.
The two-time Australian Open champion (1999 and 2000) has shown some of his best form of late and has virtually secured his card on the US Tour for 2020.
He loves playing in Sydney and has the impressive resume of eight top-10 finishes in 13 career starts at the Australian Open, including his most recent return when fourth at Royal Sydney in 2016.
‘Badds’ is off to a solid start already in this ‘wrap-around’ US season with two top-40 finishes in California and Nevada.
And Matt Jones, who won the title in 2015, loves being on home ground in his native Sydney and can be relied upon to be thereabouts when the Open gets to Sunday.
There’s a few others capable of surprising as well.
Mexican Abraham Ancer is defending champion and having already made the Presidents Cup team will be keen to show his steady improvement on the world stage – and defend his title.
Others like former champions Cameron Davis, John Senden, Greg Chalmers, Steve Allan, Geoff Ogilvy, Robert Allenby, Peter Lonard and Craig Parry are all capable of putting together another week to remember.
Throw in world No 17 Adam Scott and the stage is set for a week to remember on a golf course that will host the Open for a record 21st time.