Scott eyes Aussie Triple Crown at Royal Sydney
All eyes will be on Adam Scott this week at the Australian Open as the world number two goes in search of securing the Aussie ‘triple crown’ – the Australian PGA, the Australian Masters and the Australian Open.
Scott is confident his plans might work out, yet knows it will still be a challenge.
Adam Scott (Credit: Anthony Powter)
“Well, it (the triple crown) is looking good now,” said Scott after his triumph in the Masters a fortnight ago.
“It will certainly be on mind when I get to Sydney, that’s for sure, and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun for me to try and do that.”
Rory McIlroy plans on spoiling Scott’s bid, which was last achieved by Robert Allenby in 2005.
McIlroy, who is being paid a reported A$1 million for the week, is in Australia to win and reinforce to the world that his game is still there.
“I’m hitting the ball much better,” McIlroy said at Royal Sydney on Monday before this week’s Open.
“My game’s in good shape. A win would be the perfect way to end the year. I’m definitely not down here for a holiday.”
Add into the mix our World Cup champion, Jason Day, and tournament organisers are anticipating major interest for an event which in the past has struggled to regain the notoriety it had in the 1970′s, where Jack Nicklaus is reported to have referred our national open to ‘the fourth major’.
The last time the Championships were held at Royal Sydney in 2008, the tournament saw John Daly infamously smash a fan’s camera against a tree and Robert Allenby abused by drunken fans at the now-abandoned party hole.
John Senden won that year and has returned this year, as has Greg Chalmers and Peter Senior, all former Australian Open champions.
Keep an eye out for Matt Jones, who could easily rain on Scott’s parade. Jones had a stand out PGA Tour season with career-best numbers in FedExCup ranking points (32nd), money list (47th), cuts made (18), top-25 finishes (nine) and equaling top-10 finishes (five).
Jones’ season was highlighted by a runner-up finish at The Greenbrier Classic and he certainly is in form.
Another to follow is Marcus Fraser, who secured an emotional victory in the Ballantine’s Championship in Korea in April 2010, his second European Tour title following his maiden victory in the BMW Russian Open in 2003.
This season in both Europe and the US, Fraser has confirmed himself as one of our most consistent players on tour, a win this week would cap off a stellar 2013 season for the Corowa native.
Whilst this Australian Open might not have a world class field that it once enjoyed, it will none the less showcase Day and Scott against former world number one, McIlroy.
Add into the mix the wonderful run Scott has had since returning to Australia, this week’s event should generate enough interest to keep the fans happy and push the television ratings hopefully upwards.