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Emirates Australian Open, Advantage to Broomsticks in the Wind.

Peter Senior

 

Peter Senior / The Daily Telegraph

Veteran Aussie, 53 year-old Peter Senior won the Emirates Australian Open, leaning on his broomstick in the gale force winds. Peter achieved his win shooting par in the last round to win by one shot at -4 under par. In second place was Brendan Jones at -3 under par, also another of the Broomstick brigade. If you have ever had any doubts about the advantage gained from using a Broomstick, this tournament was a glaring example of the advantage in windy conditions. It was plain to see that both players were standing steady on the greens over their putts, anchored to the ground before stroking the ball.  Peter said after his round;

” These are the conditions I thrive in,  if the conditions were good, the really good players would have shone this week,”

Peter becomes Australia’s oldest winner of the Stonehaven Cup, surpassing the great Peter Thomson, who won as a 43-year-old in 1973.

Cameron Percy was in third place at -2 under par with world number four Justin Rose finishing tied in fourth place with Kieran Pratt and Kim Felton. Justin Rose struggled with the putter in the terrible conditions, so bad were the winds that play had to be suspended for over three hours. The howling wind blew over a television tower and a marquee got crushed during the mayhem, which finished in near darkness, Justin Rose summed it up;

” It was like a day-night match,  I’ve never played a hole with shadows from a spotlight.”

 

Emirates Australian Open, John Senden Regains Lead

Emirates Australian Open

John Senden

John Senden / emiratesaustralianopen.com.au

John Senden regained the lead of the Emirates Australian Open at The Lakes, Sydney, with a battling third round of  -2 under par, 70 and a tournament total of -7 under par.  John takes a handy two-shot lead over Justin Rose of England into tomorrow’s final round, the second year in succession that he has led the national championship through 54 holes, but last year at The Lakes he was reeled in by Greg Chalmers. That statistic is something that John is acutely aware of, he mentioned it in his report, along with his Eagle at the par 5 eleventh;

“I know where I stand,’ I have to deal with that and go out tomorrow and play my game. You have to be able to control the ball any time you play golf, but in these conditions you have to be really on your game. I had a good number I was planning on just hit through the shot. If it goes a little long, that’s okay’. I took a risk there and pulled it off.’’

John is also mindful of the speed of the greens. and hopes the tournament organisers are also thinking about the course set up, the putting surfaces were running at 11 on the stimpmeter at the start of today’s round, but were much quicker by the end.

“If they’re predicting windier conditions tomorrow, they’ve got to make sure they take care of that,’

World number four Justin Rose  is in second place alone at -5 under par, he was superb with his control, not making a single bogey until the 17th hole, and had possession of the lead for some time. But then the Englishman chipped off the green and dropped a shot, then missed the 18th green to the right and could not make par there either, Justin finished with signing for a -2 under par, 70, and will start two shots adrift of John Senden, but will be playing along side of him in the final pairing tomorrow. Justin said the conditions got tougher as the day went along;

“It got progressively tougher as the day went on, by the end of the round it was tough to even tap in, to be perfectly honest with you. Even from three feet you were getting buffeted around, the wind’s moving you. It’s very difficult to get the ball in the hole. Whoever literally stands up, the last man standing will win the golf tournament. I think it’s going to be a battle.’’

There are three Aussies tied in third spot at -4 under par for the tournament, Matthew Jones, Kieran Pratt and veteran Peter Senior.  2009 Australian Open champion Adam Scott is not quite  out of the running just yet.Adam is at two-under-par for the tournament, just five shots back of the lead, especially if he gets the type of generous early morning conditions that most of the players have experienced this week.

Marcus Fraser had a disastrous third round of +4 over par 76, and he also will need something special on Sunday if he wants to get up and contend this trophy.

 

Emirates Australian Open, Marcus Fraser Leads with a Hole in One

Marcus Fraser

Marcus Fraser / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Aussie Marcus Fraser leads the Emirates Australian Open at the conclusion of the second round at The Lakes golf course in Sydney, with another -3 under par, 69 round, and a tournament total of -6 under par. Marcus, who played in the mornings calm conditions has a one shot advantage over John Senden and Brendan Jones. Marcus aced the par 3 fifteenth hole to cap off a remarkable seven weeks playing golf in seven different countries. Next week he will travel to Malaysia to see if he can win the Asian Tour money title. Marcus spoke of his ace, and his grueling schedule;

” To have one go in like that, it turned the round and the tournament around from where I was. I’ve been playing so much I feel like I’m going with the flow a little bit, playing week-in, week-out you’re going through the same routine every day and it feels like another golf tournament. At the same time it is the Aussie Open. Definitely it’s the pick of the bunch of the eight weeks for me.”

Take a look at the late season schedule of Marcus, starting  September in Malaysia, then China WGC-HSBC Champions, the Barclays Singapore Open, the UBS Hong Kong Open, the European Tour’s DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, then a failed attempt to secure a 2013 PGA Tour card in California last week, and back to Malaysia next week.

John Senden played in the windy afternoon conditions and could only manage a +1 over par round, falling back to -5 under par for the tournament and tied in second place with Brendan Jones, who carded a -1 under par second round, for his -5 under par total.

On his own in fourth place is another Aussie, Nick Cullen, he had a second round of  -2 under par and a total of -4 under for the tournament.

World number four, Justin Rose started well, with four birdies on the front nine to move into the lead at -7 under par, but unusually fell behind with four bogeys in six holes in the windy afternoon conditions, leaving him with a +1 over par 73, tied in fifth position at -3 under par. Adam Scott managed a -1 under par second round and is five shots off the pace.

Story of the day was made by 63 year-old Tom Watson, who fired in a second round -4 under par 68, to make the cut by one shot after his terrible start to the tournament sinking to a first round total of 78. Tom expressed his desire to succeed;

” I hate missing cuts, I really do, that means you’ve failed.”

Tom”s playing partner, Greg Chalmers also just made the cut by one shot, and was not happy with his performance in the easier morning conditions;

” Three par fives on the back nine and I bogeyed two of them. That’s not going to work if you want to have a good score out here. I guess I’m going to get to play on the weekend so I get to go out and shoot a low score, but certainly I’m probably going to start a long way back.”

It certainly looks like the winner of this tournament will be the player who can master the windier afternoon conditions for the next two days.

 

 

Emirates Australian Open, John Senden Sizzles in 1st Round

 

 

Emirates Australian Open

 

 

Senden Caddie

John Senden / australianpga

John Senden certainly sizzled in the opening round of the Emirates Australian Open at The Lakes golf course in Sydney, shooting a -6 under par 66, to lead by one shot. John has had another consistent year on the  US PGA Tour, earning five top ten finishes, and he capitalised here as he took advantage of the light winds earlier in the day. The afternoon players had to contend with a stiff breeze, which made the going a little bit more difficult. The 41 year-old John reckons he is playing some of the best golf of his life;

” I’ve been playing some of the best golf I’ve played in my life,’ I just need to believe in that and keep going forward. I’ve played with them all. I know how they are. It’s about standing on the stage and being comfortable. That’s where it’s at. I feel like I’m getting better at that. I’m moving forward, slowly getting better, that’s where my whole career’s been going. I need to continue in that direction and keep everything simple and just play.”

John has also been caddying for his son Jacob at Keparra Golf Club in Brisbane, his own Alma Mater, he spoke about Jacob;

” He’s starting to get to know the game of golf a bit. He’s always been able to hit the ball well but now’s the time I can get him on the golf course and learn a bit about walking six, seven, eight holes, learning a bit about etiquette. He’s starting to get the gist of it. He’s into every sport. He loves it. When I first took him out I took him in a golf kart and all he wanted to do was drive the golf kart. Now we’re walking, it’s fun being out there with him and hopefully he’ll continue to play the game and enjoy it.”

Five players are just one shot back of the leader, three Aussies, one Kiwi and one Englishman, in the shape of World number four, and one of the favorites here, Justin Rose.  Justin mentioned the early start time today;

” You assume the early morning round is the one you have to post a good number, all in all, it’s a good start.”

The three Aussies who also shot 68 and are at -4 under par are, Kim Felton, Richard Green and Brendan Jones. Joining that bunch is Kiwi Gareth Padison.

Adam Scott, one of the more fancied players to lift this trophy posted an even par round of 72, leaving him six shots off the pace at the top of the leaderboard. Adam admitted to being a little bit off;

It was good conditions this morning but I tried to play quite aggressively my first nine and hit a few ordinary shots, nothing too bad but got in a bit of trouble and wasted opportunities out there. So I was a little bit off but I played fairly good the front nine in pretty tricky conditions with the wind getting up. That’s the tougher nine so not too much damage done but I’m certainly giving them a head start this week. I would have loved to have been a few shots better but there’s another 54 holes, that’s a lot of golf to play so a course like this. If you can have a good nine holes you’re right back in it.”

Adam is probably right, we will see how the broomstick performs on the greens tomorrow, after Adam had been practicing here with a conventional putter, before the tournament began.

 

 

Adam Scott to Banish his Broomstick

Adam Scott

Adam Scott and his Broomstick/ Getty Images

Although any potential banning of anchored putters by the Royal & Ancient and USGA is unlikely to be enforced before 2016, Adam Scott is obviously keen to make the adjustment to sooner rather than later by banishing his Broomstick for a practice round with a conventional putter. Adam is practicing for the Emirates Australian Open at at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney, coincidentally with Tom Watson who is in favor of the ban on the Broomstick. Tom said he endorses the ban with mixed emotions citing this reason;

” I say that with mixed emotions, “This  broomstick stroke is not a stroke of golf. That’s not a stroke but it makes it easier to play. My son Michael, with a conventional putting stroke, he couldn’t make it from two feet half the time, but he went to a belly putter and he makes everything. The game is fun to him now, so there lies the danger: Do we take the ability for people to have fun away?  Do we go to two sets of rules, where some people can use long putters in certain competitions, but the PGA Tour maybe can’t? So there’s a dilemma there.” 

It would seem that Tom is confused himself about what this rule change could do to golf generally. I have said previously that there is going to be trouble enforcing this rule at the local level. A player is going to call his opponent for anchoring, and the accused is going to reply, no I didn’t. This can only bring discontent and bad feelings out on the course, and that is not a good or healthy scenario.

Tom went on recount what Ernie Els said after his win at The Open;

“”I thought Ernie Els said it perfectly after he won last year’s Open championship, he was asked: ‘Why did you go with the long putter Ernie?’ and he said: ‘I’m cheating like the rest of them are’. Ernie’s a great player and he knows the difference between doing it the conventional way versus trying to do it with an anchored putter. The arc of your putter doesn’t change as much. He knows that difference and he knows it’s not right.”

The thing is every player has had the option to use the long putters if they wish, if it so much easier with a long putter, why haven’t they all swapped over ?  I say lets banish the ban and get on and play golf, everyone is welcome at our golf course, Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club. Make them welcome at your club, for the good of the game.

But if you are considering a new putter check out the White Dragon Putter, it is set to become a feature of putting in the near future, for more information email info@whitedragongolf.com.

 

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