Norman and Scott to headline 2006 Australian Open
BY Anthony Powter | Australasian PGA Tour | 2006 Australian Open | General | 11 May 2006
Golf Australia today announced that Adam Scott, Greg Norman and Bruce Crampton are all confirmed as starters at the 2006 MFS Australian Open. The announcement was made at a packed media conference attended by Greg Norman this morning at Royal Sydney Golf Club, the venue for this year’s Open.
“It’s great to be back in one of my favorite cities in the world and I am looking forward to playing on this wonderful layout. The Australian Open is a sought after event and when you see who has won the event, you can understand the importance of the Championship.”
Said Norman, the five times Australian Open Champion and winner of over 90 professional events around the world, including 20 USPGA Tour events.
The strategy of Tony Hallam and Paul McNamee of Golf Australia seems clear – to recognise the pulling power of a player of Norman’s stature, but also see the value of young international players like Scott who are continually placing Australia on the world golfing stage with their successes abroad.
To enable Australian golf to once again become a major entertainment vehicle, the sport obviously needs to acknowledge – and leverage off – the significant success our professionals are achieving overseas as well as what has been achieved in the past.
Scott is currently 21st on the US PGA Tour Order of Merit, and ranked 9th in the world. Scott is a player of outstanding ability, with numerous European and US PGA Tour victories under his belt.
Whilst Norman admitted that he has not played recently, the Shark was adamant that he is fit and eager to return to competitive golf and that he will continue to compete at the professional level as long as he is competitive.
“I’ll feel that I am competitive and as long as I feel that, I will continue to play competitive golf. The moment that I feel that I’m not, then I will stop.”
“I’ve seven months to prepare for the Australian Open and I plan to return to the range and workout in preparation for the event. Whilst I have considerable interests outside golf at the moment I fell that I can still compete and win.”
In many ways, the Scott/Norman combination is a perfect choice for what Paul McNamee would describe as making golf more attractive for the corporate dollar. Hugely popular with both men and women of all ages, Adam Scott and Greg Norman represent a potent blend of skill, charm and excitement that will ensure a broad cross section of enthusiastic followers at Royal Sydney in November.
“There is a need to celebrate the game, celebrate Australian players and, with more than a dozen players in the top 100 of the world we’re entering an exciting period,” said McNamee.
Norman and Scott is also combination that will generate interest in a Championship that has floundered recently and with the positive exposure currently surrounding the Championship, MSF, the principal sponsor of the Australian Open, will be undoubtedly rejoicing today’s announcement.
Photo – Anthony Powter