Jarrod Lyle heads young stars at Jacob's Creek Open
BY iseekgolf.com | Web.com Tour | 2005 Jacob's Creek Open | General | 09 Feb 2005
Royal Adelaide Golf Club will be the venue of an epic battle between youth and experience when the $1 million Jacob’s Creek Open gets under way on 17 February.
The PGA Tour of Australasia and US PGA Nationwide Co-Sanctioned event, the richest on the Nationwide Tour, will see rising stars, Jarrod Lyle, James Nitties, Kurt Barnes, defending Champion Euan Walters and “Chiles” Camilo Villegas take on some of the Tours seasoned Tour players in Greg Chalmers, Peter Senior, Pierre Fulke, Brett Rumford, David McKenzie and New Zealand’s David Smail and Grant Waite.
Forty-nine of the top sixty on the PGA Tour of Australasia will compete at Royal Adelaide.
The US Nationwide line up of seventy-eight players will be announced soon.
Lyle, 23, who finished a shot behind winner Craig Parry and a shot in front of defending champion Ernie Els at last week’s Heineken Classic, will be anxious to go one better and earn playing rights on the Nationwide Tour.
Also looking for their first professional win are Nitties, runner-up to Peter Lonard in the Australian PGA in December, and Barnes, who finished fifth in the Australian Open two weeks earlier.
In what is probably a first for Australian golf, the tournament could have three US Amateur champions in the field. Americans David Gossett and Ricky Barnes are already confirmed and Nick Flanagan, who in 2003 became the first Australian to win the title, is hoping to pre-qualify.
Moving the championship to Royal Adelaide, after eight years at Kooyonga, should please Western Australian leftie Greg Chalmers whose last win, the 1998 Australian Open, was on the Seaton layout. Chalmers and McKenzie are both playing well and finished tied for second behind Richard Green in the Australian Masters at Huntingdale before Christmas.
Adelaide brings back happy memories for many golfers whose careers began or were revived there. Major winners Greg Norman, Annika Sorenstam and Wayne Grady, who is playing again, recorded their first pro victories in Adelaide while Nick Price ended a winless streak of five years in 1989, as did Ronan Rafferty in 1987.
Now in its fourth year of sponsorship by leading winemaker Jacob’s Creek, the title continues to provide great opportunities for players, with the last three winners, Gavin Coles, American Joe Ogilvie and Euan Walters earning their card for the Nationwide Tour in the US. The Americans, who make up half the field, are certain to motivated by the prizemoney and the chance to lead the Order of Merit. On today’s exchange rate, $A1 million equates to $US760,000. The next richest event on the US circuit, the Nationwide Tour Championship in October, has a purse of $US650,000.
Last year Walters produced rounds of 66, 71, 70 and 68 to finish at nine under par 275 while fellow Aussies Brendan Jones, Anthony Painter and former US PGA champion Wayne Grady tied for second on 280. The best placed of the Americans was Scott Gutschewski from Omaha who tied for fifth on 281 with Aussie Mathew Goggin.
The Alister Mackenzie-designed Royal Adelaide championship course has seen some wonderful golf over the past century and produced winners including Peter Thomson, Greg Norman, Ivo Whitton, Jim Ferrier, Gary Player, Norman von Nida and Nick Price.
Source – Bob Tuohy
Photo – Anthony Powter