Australian Open looking Grand this week

BY | Australasian PGA Tour | 2001 Australian Open | Preview | 19 Nov 2001
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The 2001 Australian Open begins this week at the Grand Golf Club on the beautiful Gold Coast in Queensland. The choice of the Grand Golf Club as the venue has been somewhat controversial but all fears have been allayed with the course being in perfect condition.

The PGA Tour and the AGU also announced that the winner of this week’s Holden Australian Open would be granted an automatic entry into 2002 World Golf Championships (WGC) – NEC Invitational event.

The $1.5 million Open boasts a field including Ernie Els, Robert Allenby, Thomas Bjorn, Stuart Appleby, Charles Howell III, Adam Scott, Chris Riley, Greg Chalmers, Paul Gow and Craig Parry.

The par 71, 6182-metre course over which the 2001 national championship will be determined is primarily the creation of Greg Norman and Peter Thomson. Whilst Norman designed the course, Thomson is responsible for the Open course set-up plan. It is a combination with impeccable credentials; between them they have won 8 Australian Opens and 7 British Opens and are positioned as well as anyone to set the test for this championship.

In the week leading up to the Australian Open golf championship, Ty Tryon and Paul Casey, two exciting foreign youngsters have withdrawn. Tryon confirmed he would not play the Open at The Grand Golf Club on the Gold Coast after earning a spot in the final stage of the US PGA Tour qualifying school. Meanwhile, English rookie Casey told organisers that he wouldn’t be flying on to Australia after his late call-up to play for England in last week’s World Cup in Japan. The 24-year-old would have attracted much interest after winning the Scottish PGA and finishing 17th on the European tour Order of Merit in his first season.

Robert Allenby is the obvious favourite after winning back-to-back Australian PGA titles last week and he is looking a good chance to win again this week. Aaron Baddeley beat Allenby by two strokes at last year’s Australian Open.

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