Royal Sydney is the host venue for what should be an absolutely awesome Australian Open this year. Now you may be asking why I think it will be an awesome Aussie Open. The answer is that it is a great golf course, one that challenges every aspect of your game, there is a great field boasting some fantastic names in golf and I might add that they are all in form too and thirdly Adam Scott arrives here looking for the triple crown in Australian golf and as the US Masters Champion that the Sydney siders haven't yet been able to celebrate and congratulate him for! That and my good form this week in practice shows exactly why this may be a very exciting week!!
I arrived Monday morning and was picked up by my good friend Nick Farr-Jones and after dropping him at work I was off to the course in his car he had lent me for the week. We have become very good friends since playing together in the NZ PGA a couple of years ago and our mutual Christianity has only grown that friendship even more. After a really good day out on course I managed to beat the strong winds and rain that arrived in the afternoon as I headed to my accom for the week . After a quick shower I headed out to meet Nick and go to a dinner with him at the Sydney Opera House....as you do!! First stop was his office, overlooking the Opera House and Harbour bridge...not sure how he ever gets any work done!! We walked down to the Opera House to the dinner which was a Australian Sports Hall of Fame dinner and very quickly I found myself in an environment that I love, a room full of Australian Sports stars!!! Who could I talk to I thought as I scanned the room. I was like a kid in a candy store as I looked around the room, Dawn Fraser, Grant Hackett, Adam Gilchrist, NFJ, Alan Davidson and Louise Sauvage just to name a few!! It was a great night chatting to most of them at some point and listening to NFJ, Gilly and Dawn in a Q and A hosted by Liz Ellis, netball guru! What a great way to start the week!!
The course is in great shape and without doubt hasn't disappointed me after I recently said it was in the top 5 Aussie courses I have played. It was just how I remembered it with great shapes of holes and it being a course that will test every aspect of your game. There is something very special about the 1st and 18th holes here, the majestic clubhouse creates such incredible starting and finishing holes. The 1st sets your game going by placing you right beside the clubhouse with the first morning breakfast for invited guests happening just metres to your right creating an exciting spectacle for those lucky enough to gain an invite. The 18th is a dogleg to the left where as you walk down the hole your view finally opens up to what you see in the photo below, a great view of the clubhouse where your round began!! To put it into perspective, if you look at the photo the right hand corner of the clubhouse is where you hit the tee shot from on the 1st hole, elevated and nearly in the members lounge!!!
My practice has gone very well this week and alot of that has to do with a former club pro of Royal Sydney, Murray Lott on the bag for me this week. Murray brings a wealth of experience to my bag this week having actually caddied for Nick Faldo here in an Australian Open in the past. He is also my new short game coach so having him here and continuing to help in that area has been a great benefit too.
I am ready to go, looking forward to getting stuck into the event tomorrow, don't forget to follow along o
Catch up with everything from the tour as I let you know about the course, conditions and my thoughts and feelings on how I am playing.....also some cool stories from the tour!!