Ten Aussies in Accenture Match Play field
BY iseekgolf.com | US PGA Tour | 2005 Accenture Match Play Championship | General | 19 Feb 2005
An impressive number of ten Australians will line up as part of the world’s best take part in the first of the four World Golf Championship events, the Accenture World Matchplay, starting on Wednesday, February 23, at La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California, USA.
The Accenture Matchplay events feature players from around the world competing against one another in a matchplay format. Qualification for the Match Play is the top 64 available players based on the Official World Golf Ranking.
Victorian Stuart Appleby, winner of the first event on the US PGA TOUR this year, the Mercedes Championship in Hawaii, is the highest ranked Australasian at world number 10. Joining Appleby at the La Costa Resort course are Adam Scott (11), Peter Lonard ( 29), Nick O’Hern (31), Craig Parry (37), Robert Allenby (44), Mark Hensby (46), Richard Green (51) Rod Pampling (52) and Stephen Leaney (61).
In addition to Appleby’s impressive two successive Mercedes Championship wins, the Australian contingent between them have a list of highlights that reflects the talent and depth of the Australasian players performances around the world over the past twelve months.
Adam Scott captured two titles on the US PGA TOUR in 2004, the Players Championship and the Booz Allen Classic and finished the year the highest ranked Australian at number 11. He also finished second at the Australasian and European Tour co-sanctioned 2004 Heineken Classic behind Ernie Els. Peter Lonard captured two of the ’big three’ season ending events on the Australasian Tour when he won the Hillross Australian Open, followed a week later by the Cadbury Schweppes PGA Championship. Nick O’Hern narrowly missed out on capturing his first major title two weeks ago when he was beaten in a play-off at the 2004 Heineken Classic by fellow aussie Craig Parry. O’Herns consistency over the 2004 season saw him finish with 11 top ten placing’s on the European Tour and four top ten placing’s out of nine events on the Australasian Tour. He finished the 2004 year ranked number 46 in the world, his highest ever ranking which he quickly overtook after his result at the Heineken Classic.
Craig Parry has started the 2005 year in the best possible way, by taking out the esteemed Heineken Classic at Royal Melbourne. Parry also took victory at the 2004 Ford Doral Championship in Florida with a miraculous eagle on the from the fairway on the par four 18th first play off hole to beat Scott Verplank.
A T7 at the 2004 U.S. Open was four time USPGA TOUR winner Robert Allenby’s best career finish in a major. He added another top 10 at the PGA with a T9. He was one of ten players to record multiple top 10s in the major championships in 2004. He continued strong play at the WGC-NEC Invitational, as his T9 was his third top10 placing in five starts at the NEC event. His final top 10 finish for 2004 came in last full-field event of the season, a T6 at the Chrysler Championship.
Melbourne born Mark Hensby broke through with his first ever US PGA TOUR victory when he won the 2004 John Deere Classic . Fellow Victorian Richard Green, winner of the 2004 MasterCard Masters at Melbourne’s Huntingdale course saw him also take out the 2004 PGA TOUR OF AUSTRALASIA Order of Merit. Rod Pampling lifted his position on the world rankings when he took out his first ever US PGA TOUR victory at THE INTERNATIONAL. He also finished T3 a the 2004 Hillross Australian Open and T9 at the Cadbury Schweppes PGA Championship on the Australasian Tour. Stephen Leaney’s consistent season on the 2004 US PGA TOUR saw him record two top ten finishes, six top 25’s and over $1 million in prizemoney. He was the best placed Australian at last years Accenture World Match Play, falling to Tiger Woods in the semi final. He lost a consolation final to Ireland’s Darren Clarke but on his way had beaten Fed Funk, Mike Weir, Colin Montgomerie and Ian Poulter.
This year marks the seventh playing of the World Golf Championships—Accenture Match Play Championship. The Accenture Match Play Championship is one of four World Golf Championships, which are sanctioned and organized by the International Federation of PGA Tours, which includes the Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Southern Africa Tour. The other World Golf Championships include the American Express Championship, NEC Invitational and Algarve World Cup in Portugal.
Australian Results at the 2004 Match Play Championship saw Stephen Leaney the highest placed Australasian finishing 4th and collecting $430,000.00. Adam Scott was T9 with Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby and Peter Lonard finishing T17.
Source – PGA Tour
Photo – Anthony Powter