Ogilvy, Badds set for Aussie Open
BY Anthony Powter | Australasian PGA Tour | 2006 Australian Open | General | 19 Jul 2006
The Executive Chairman Australian Opens, Paul McNamee, announced at Royal Sydney Golf Club today that US Open Champion, Geoff Ogilvy, has confirmed he will contest the 2006 MFS Australian Open.
The announcement comes on top of the recent confirmation that Greg Norman and world number 6, Adam Scott would also take part in the tournament. Ogilvy on his recent rest break in Melbourne last month hinted that he was keen to play the Open. At the time with his US Open victory, the Melbournian had many calls upon him for tournament commitments across the world.
After indicating his intention to play at Royal Sydney, the world number seven remarked:
“I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to compete with some of the world’s finest golfers on home soil. It’s always been my goal to win an Aussie open. There would be nothing better than adding it to my US Open title.”
As reigning US Open Champion, Ogilvy typifies the outstanding success young Australians are experiencing on the US PGA Tour so far this year. Currently preparing for the British Open – commencing at Holyoake on Thursday – he is considered one of our best chances of the strong Australian contingent, reputed to be the largest contingent of overseas qualifiers.
Aaron Baddeley was also confirmed as an Australian Open starter. Baddeley, undoubtedly one of the world’s most naturally talented players, has found competition success elusive recently with his maiden USPGA Tour Victory in the 2006 Verizon Heritage, but remains a real drawcard for young followers of Australian golf.
The MFS Australian Open has the players to make it a real headline event, and it could not happen at a better time – with young Australian golfers, both men and women taking the game to a new level.
Never has the time been riper for a resurgence in interest in Australian golf – a fact recognised by McNamee.
“With Ogilvy and Baddeley added to the mix, they will spice up play and draw younger crowds to the tournament. We look forward to the battle between our world champions and up and coming younger stars.”
Golf Australia also outlined at today’s press conference other innovations for the MFS Open. A twilight viewing spectacular and reserved grandstand seating on the 18th green, designed to enhance the spectator experience is one modernisation. In addition, there will be a loosening of the “ropes” on the fairways at Royal Sydney – allowing a closeness to the action never before seen at an Australian major.
The new generation of Australian golfers are a runaway success overseas. This summer’s men’s and women’s Australian Opens are the perfect opportunity to capitalise on this success and to once again make golf a major spectator event on the Australian sporting calendar. The confirmation of Geoff Ogilvy today, must be a step in the right direction.
Photo – Anthony Powter