Stars arrive for Emirates Australian Open golf
Sydney, Nov 26 (IANS) Local hope Adam Scott‘s skyrocketing popularity is changing the face of Australian golf, according to Golf Australia boss Stephen Pitt, as the buildup to this week’s Australian Open reaches levels of fairway-hysteria not seen since Greg ‘The Great White Shark’ Norman’s heyday 20 years ago.
As the Minister for Tourism and Major Events, George Souris and Minister for Sport and Recreation, Gabrielle Upton, Tuesday rolled out the official red carpet for Rory McIlroy, Australian Open organisers were anticipating record crowds at Royal Sydney this week, reports Xinhua.
With the cream of world golf arriving in Sydney just days ahead of the tee-off for the Emirates Australian Open of Golf at the Royal Sydney Golf Club Thursday, all eyes are looking to Scott to finish his momentous 2013 by adding the Australian Open to his stand out victories in the Australian PGA and Masters tournaments earlier this month.
This year’s Australian Open has attracted a strong field including the evergreen Peter Senior who will be defending his Australian Open title against golfers of the calibre of Jason Day, Aaron Baddeley, Robert Allenby, John Senden, Geoff Ogilvy, Aaron Baddeley, Greg Chalmers, Nick O’ Hern, Scott Gardiner, Cameron Percy, Craig Parry and Rod Pampling.
Sydney has embraced the golf-madness that has gripped Australia since Scott’s historic first US Masters winner with ticket sales already up 25 per cent on last year’s Australian Open, while Adam Scott is already the toast of every pub from Bondi to Bankstown.
“Adam’s presence is an enormous boost, it is the kind of boost we used to get back in the heyday when Greg Norman was in his absolute prime,” said Pitt.
Pitt, the Golf Australia CEO, added: “Wherever you are, if you can get to Royal Sydney Golf Club this week, you’re in for a fantastic four days of golf action as the Adam Scott hype reaches fever pitch.”
This week, Scott will attempt to win the triple crown of Australian golf and just last month was awarded Australia’s prestigious ‘The Don Award’ by the Sport Australia Hall of Fame – a first for any Aussie golfer.