Australian Open will showcase great Down Under traditions, as well as best golfers in the world
There is something special about a nation’s open golf championship. At prestigious tournaments like the British and U.S. opens, there is a sense of tradition in the air, an overriding ambiance of class and structure, a blah of blah-blah-blah, with honor and ritual permeating every shot, while blah blah, zzzzzzzz.
And then there’s the Australian Open.
Promoted this year by the energetic and offbeat former tennis star Paul McNamee, the Australian Open, to be played at Royal Sydney, promises to be everything that’s good about Australia, which of course, scares the hell out of golf traditionalists.
“I’ve had people come up to me saying absurd things like, ‘I’ve heard you’re going to have girls in bikinis caddying for the players’,” McNamee told The Sun-Herald in an “exclusiv-ish” interview. “That’s just ridiculous. Have you ever tried to find 100 swimsuit models strong enough to carry those heavy bags around for four days? I have and it’s just not feasible.”
Nonetheless, golf historians are atwitter at the possibilities that too much Aussie and not enough golf will dominate the Open, especially with McNamee in charge. Plans to overstock the water hazards with crocodiles in honor of the late Steve Irwin, and to have one randomly selected player from each group tee off on the first hole with an exploding golf ball have many concerned.
“That should start things off with a bang,” said McNamee.
Ok, so maybe McNamee is enjoying having one on, but there will be entertainment at the event, but more importantly, the field will be stuffed with entertaining Australian golfers who have been some of the hottest in the world this year.
Six Aussies won eight events on the PGA Tour in 2006, with players like Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy and Stuart Appleby becoming household names on tour, as well as some of the top-ranked golfers in the world.
The Australian Open starts Wednesday, and it should be a fantastic week for Australian golf, which, bells and whistles or not, has proven to be some of the best golf on the planet.
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