Arnold Palmer to attend Centenary Australian Open

BY | Australasian PGA Tour | 2004 Australian Open | General | 04 Aug 2004
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Golf legend Arnold Palmer has accepted an invitation from the Australian Golf Union and IMG to attend the 2004 Hillross Australian Open – the centenary edition of the prestigious event. The championship will be staged at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney from November 25 – 28.

Palmer, a former Australian Open champion, will not play in the championship, but will play an exhibition round at the Australian Golf Club prior to the event. He will also partake in the event’s centenary celebrations including the Hillross Australian Open Gala Centenary Dinner on November 23.

AGU Executive Director Colin Phillips is delighted that Palmer has accepted his invitation to come to the Australian Golf Club – the site of the first Australian Open back in 1904. The AGU has extended invitations to all former living champions of the Hillross Australian Open in celebration of the championship’s centenary occasion.

“Arnold Palmer’s presence in Sydney for the centennial Australian Open shows how much respect he has for our national championship,” said Phillips. “As a former Australian Open winner and an all-time great of the sport, Arnold will be warmly welcomed by all Australian golf fans”.

Palmer, 74, is looking forward to being in Sydney in November to celebrate 100 years of the Australian Open.

“It will be very nice to be on hand for this year’s Australian Open, one of the important international titles on my record that I’ve always prized. It’s been quite a while since I was in Australia , so I’m expecting to renew some old acquaintances when I am there”.

The American is recognised as one of the greatest and most admired players in the sport’s history. He won seven major titles and 62 times on the US PGA Tour. Palmer won the US Masters in 1958, ’60, ’62 and ’64, the US Open in 1960, and the British Open in 1961 and ’62. His finest moment in Australia came in 1966 when he won the Australian Open at Royal Queensland Golf Club by five shots from Kel Nagle.

IMG is especially excited by the prospect of Palmer travelling to Sydney for the centenary Australian Open. For in fact, it was Palmer who agreed in 1960 to become IMG founder Mark H. McCormack’s first client after a now famous handshake agreement.

IMG’s Managing Director Australia/New Zealand, Martin Jolly, said " It is fantastic news for golf fans throughout Australia that Arnold has accepted the invitation to partake in the celebration of the centenary of this great event. He is truly one of the world’s great sportsmen and as IMG’s longest serving client we look forward to welcoming him back to Australia."

Source – IMG

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