Form Guide: The Aussies at St Andrews
BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2010 British Open | Preview | 13 Jul 2010
Twelve Australians are now confirmed starters for this week’s Open Championship at St Andrews. Here, I provide some thoughts on just how they may perform.
Allenby is in the field as a result of his standing in the world ranking and his place on the 2009 Presidents Cup team. Allenby was playing nicely in 2010 prior to illness and injury around the time of the Memorial but, under duress, was still able to make the cut at the US Open and finish as the joint leading Australian. He does not enjoy a great record in this event however having recorded only two top tens and a best of 7th in 17 starts.
Ogilvy is playing in just his 8th Open Championship and with only one top ten (5th in 2005) to date, his record is below that expected of a player who for some time was in the top ten in the world. Ogilvy’s season has not prospered since his brilliant start in Hawaii and although this is the scene of his second best performance in major championship golf he will need a significant improvement on current form if he is to be a threat.
Scott continues to tease in major championship golf. In 37 major championships to date in his career there have been only four top tens. His form of late has been mixed with the victory in San Antonio followed by several less than impressive efforts since. It would be a surprise if he contended.
Leishman is here because he made the Tour Championship field in his rookie season on the PGA Tour, an achievement in itself. After a good start to the 2010 season his form has dropped away although a solid 7th place finish at the recent AT&T gives some hope of a good tournament in what is his first Open Championship start.
Day is a last minute call up to the event following the withdrawal of Greg Norman. Perhaps surprisingly this is Day’s first major championship but his recent win in Dallas and reasonable follow up form suggest he deserves to be here on his merits.
Goggin finished a very meritorious 5th in this event last year after sharing the lead with just a few holes to play. He is back because of that finish to play in his fifth Open Championship. He surprised last year but his current form, while not a lot worse than this time last year, does not appear to be good enough to hope for a repeat performance.
Senden makes the field courtesy of his great season in 2009 when he earned his way into the Tour Championship. He has yet to record a top ten this season on the PGA Tour and so I would be surprised if he goes close to that this week. Senden was lying in joint second after the opening round last year at Turnberry before missing the cut. This is the 39 year old’s fifth Open Championship.
Sim plays his first Open Championship and his fourth major championship this week. He has played seven events since his return to tournament golf after an injury around the time of the Masters. He has not been as sharp as he was prior to the break and has a big task this week given the circumstances.
He is a player who must surely contend in major championships in future years but appears to have too much working against him this week.
Despite being a hardened campaigner it is hard to believe there is a player amongst the Australian contingent more excited about being in the field this week than Senior. The 50 year old earned the right to be here courtesy of a great effort at International Final Qualifying in Melbourne and will play this ahead of next week’s Senior British Open at Carnoustie.
“I’m delighted to be playing St Andrews for two reasons,” Senior told me recently. “Firstly because it is a chance for me to play the Open for the first time since the Open Championship there in 2000 but also because it allows me to have the two events back to back.”
That does not mean he will see this as a warm up.
Percy played his way into the field courtesy of the IFQ (International Final Qualifying) in the US. It will be the Victorian’s second Open Championship having missed the cut at St George’s in 2003. Percy is playing his first season on the PGA Tour and is battling for survival there.
Barnes is here after a brilliant second round at the IFQ in Melbourne where he produced a record equalling 64 at Kingston Heath. Barnes is playing his first season in Japan in 2010 with mixed results. The talented and big hitting New South Welshman will be better for the experience in what is his first major championship.
Porter gets to play his third open Championship and although he has done well to make it here once again via IFQ in Melbourne, his recent form hardly gives cause for optimism. Porter won earlier in the year on the Nationwide Tour but he has surrounded that effort with a series of missed cuts and withdrawals.