Rory McIlroy ends season on a high

Rory McIlroy pipped Adam Scott to win the Australian Open and claim his first tournament victory of 2013, with the Northern Irishman clinching the victory on the final hole at Royal Sydney. After a season in which he has failed to produce anything like his best golf, McIlroy was delighted to have recorded a tournament win before the end of the year.

After starting the tournament as the strong favourite with Betfair.com, home-favourite Scott looked on course to win the Australian ‘Triple Crown’ by holding onto his lead during the final round. While McIlroy produced some impressive golf in Sydney, it was Scott who looked to be on his way to victory up until the dying moments of the tournament.

Despite a wobbly few moments on the back-nine that may have worried those who backed the Aussie with Betfair before the tournament, Scott managed to keep McIlroy at bay up until the 18th which he begun a shot clear of the former world number one. A club selection error on the final hole of the tournament saw Scott finish with a bogey while watching McIlroy notch up a birdie to steal the title from under the Aussie’s nose.

The Northern Irishman was obviously relieved to have secured the victory, admitting he had targeted winning a title before the end of a tough year.

“To be able to play your best golf when you need to, when you’re under pressure, you can’t ask for more. The perfect scenario was to achieve a win before the end of the season and thankfully I have done that,” admitted the world number six.

With the monkey now off his back before the end of the 2013, McIlroy will be able to head into the new season with some genuine belief that he can get himself back up the rankings and in the minds of Betfair customers ahead of the Masters.

Rory McIlroy ends season on a high

Rory McIlroy pipped Adam Scott to win the Australian Open and claim his first tournament victory of 2013, with the Northern Irishman clinching the victory on the final hole at Royal Sydney. After a season in which he has failed to produce anything like his best golf, McIlroy was delighted to have recorded a tournament win before the end of the year.

After starting the tournament as the strong favourite with Betfair.com, home-favourite Scott looked on course to win the Australian ‘Triple Crown’ by holding onto his lead during the final round. While McIlroy produced some impressive golf in Sydney, it was Scott who looked to be on his way to victory up until the dying moments of the tournament.

Despite a wobbly few moments on the back-nine that may have worried those who backed the Aussie with Betfair before the tournament, Scott managed to keep McIlroy at bay up until the 18th which he begun a shot clear of the former world number one. A club selection error on the final hole of the tournament saw Scott finish with a bogey while watching McIlroy notch up a birdie to steal the title from under the Aussie’s nose.

The Northern Irishman was obviously relieved to have secured the victory, admitting he had targeted winning a title before the end of a tough year.

“To be able to play your best golf when you need to, when you’re under pressure, you can’t ask for more. The perfect scenario was to achieve a win before the end of the season and thankfully I have done that,” admitted the world number six.

With the monkey now off his back before the end of the 2013, McIlroy will be able to head into the new season with some genuine belief that he can get himself back up the rankings and in the minds of Betfair customers ahead of the Masters.

2012 Australian Open: Round 4 video highlights

Courtesy of the Golf Channel round 4 highlights from the Emirates Australian Open.

2012 Australian Open: Round 4 video highlights

Courtesy of the Golf Channel round 4 highlights from the Emirates Australian Open.

Senior wins drama filled Australian Open

Senior becomes oldest Australian Open champion at 53 years of age.




Peter Senior won his first Australian Open in 1989 and now, 23 years later at the age of 53, he has again won the Stonehaven Trophy in a day full of drama at The Lakes in Sydney.

"I really thought these days were over. Golf is such a funny game. One minute you think you are down and the next minute you are up. I did not play particularly well this week but I got it up and down all week and today was no exception." Senior said.

Senior's victory was remarkable considering the conditions. He did not miss a fairway on a cold, blustery day which saw only six players finish under par for the tournament. Senior estimates he only missed around three fairways all week in what must be a triumph for senior golfers all over the country.

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Australian Open suspended due to 80 kph winds

The final round of the Australian Open has been suspended due to 80 kph winds.
John Senden on the practice green only minutes before
play was suspended.
Adam Scott had just smashed his opening drive into the middle of the fairway at The Lakes when play was suspended at The Australian Open. Scott's drive was even more impressive considering the course was being smashed by 80kph southerly winds. 
The first cause for concern came when a TV tower was blown over on the 18th hole. The galleries were well clear of the tower but tournament organisers became increasingly worried that signage would be a danger to the players and the galleries.

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2012 Australian Open: Round 3 video highlights

Courtesy of FoxSports, round 3 highlights from the Emirates Australian Open.

Senden shows patience to regain lead at Australian Open

John Senden has a two shot lead going into the final day of the 2012 Emirates Australian Open.

The approach shot the 14th at The Lakes.
John Senden opened his third round with back-to-back bogey's and looked set to play himself out of contention for the 2012 Emirates Australian Open before the world number 38 steadied with a birdie on the sixth before an eagle on the par-5 11th hole.

"I had a sluggish start with the hand brake on a bit. But once I got through three or four holes I was feeling good again. I make a nice birdie on six  which made me feel I still had a show. Then on the back nine I started to feel really good. The eagle helped on 11. It was a day of trying to do the best I can, stay in stay in position. It is nice to be leading the tournament." Senden said after his round.

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Senden shows patience to regain lead at Australian Open

John Senden has a two shot lead going into the final day of the 2012 Emirates Australian Open.

The approach shot the 14th at The Lakes.
John Senden opened his third round with back-to-back bogey’s and looked set to play himself out of contention for the 2012 Emirates Australian Open before the world number 38 steadied with a birdie on the sixth before an eagle on the par-5 11th hole.

“I had a sluggish start with the hand brake on a bit. But once I got through three or four holes I was feeling good again. I make a nice birdie on six  which made me feel I still had a show. Then on the back nine I started to feel really good. The eagle helped on 11. It was a day of trying to do the best I can, stay in stay in position. It is nice to be leading the tournament.” Senden said after his round.

Birdies at the 13th and 14th saw him tied for the lead with Justin Rose at 7-under par and he then went on to avoid bogey over the final four holes, despite Senden describing the course conditions as “almost on the edge” for his final two holes.

“I thought the last two holes were pretty much on the edge. The golf course is very dry. I would not say that it was on the edge but it was quite windy out there. It is tough to keep the ball straight in the air.”

Senden will take a two shot lead going into the final round over Englishman Justin Rose.
Rose shared the lead for most of the day and appeared set to join Senden as the third round leader before two bogey’s that saw him drop back. His 3-iron into the par-5 17th look good before taking a big bounce and skipped over the green. From there he took bogey and could consider himself unlucky not to have been putting for eagle.

I thought 17 was a
very tough pin today. I was unrewarded with a very nice three iron. I don’t
know where it landed but it must have been front edge of the green. It just
trickled through the back. I ended up making six but I was still in the golf
tournament.” Rose said.

Three players hold a share of third place and just three shots behind Senden including Matt Jones who secured his US PGA Tour card for 2013 after finishing 11th in last week’s six round qualifying tournament in California.

Overnight co-leader Marcus Fraser must surely be battling fatigue after travelling around globe over the last few months eager to creep into the world’s top-50 before year’s end. The tough conditions got the better of Fraser late on Saturday and recorded three bogey’s in his final four holes and to drop five shots behind Senden.
The stage is set for an intriguing final day with Senden assuming the lead just like he did before the final round of the 2011 Australian Open, eventually losing by just a shot from Greg Chalmers. Senden will no doubt be looking to go one better tomorrow.

2012 Australian Open: Round 2 video highlights

Courtesy of FoxSports, round 2 highlights from the Emirates Australian Open featuring a fantastic 4-under 68 from 63-year-old Tom Watson.

Allenby apologises for "worst course" comment

Allenby overheard on camera saying he is no a fan of The Lakes.

Robert Allenby was square with the card as he found a bunker on the par-5 11th hole during yesterday's opening round of the Australian Open. His fairway bunker shot skipped over the green and went into a bunker behind the green.

And here is where the controversy started.

Channel 7's microphone then caught him making a few keen observations about the course.

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Senden fires early to lead Australian Open

Morning golfers were the winners today at The Lakes.
In a blow for anyone who likes a lie in, it was obvious that playing early was the key at The Lakes in Sydney today. The morning players had the best of the conditions at The Lakes during the opening round of the 2012 Australian Open and John Senden took full advantage of them.
Senden is coming off a successful year on the PGA Tour, ranked number 38 in the world but looking for a victory to finish his year off. The 2006 Australian Open champ got off to a flyer with five birdies in his first eight holes.
"We had the perfect conditions this morning, teeing off at seven o’clock. You won’t get much of a better day. I thought there were a lot of birdies out there and there would probably be some good scores this morning. I felt good the whole round." Senden said.

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2012 Australian Open: 360 view of practice range

Click on image or here to 360erize and feel like you’re on the range before the Australian Open.

2012 Australian Open: Wednesday photos

Here’s a few pics from around The Lakes the day before the 2012 Australian Open tees off.

Video: Adam Scott albatross at 2011 Australian Open

Revisiting the 2011 Australian Open with an albatross from Adam Scott.

Adam Scott and caddie Steve Williams were involved in a fair bit of drama at last year’s Australian Open including this albatross which I thought was worth seeing again.

Australian Open TV intro’s from 1979, 1984 and 1987

Some cringe worthy introduction's to the ABC's old broadcast of the Australian Open.
I thought it was time to go a little retro as we count down to the opening tee shot of the 2012 Australian Open by looking back at the way the ABC used to broadcast the golf.
Here are three opening sequences from the ABC's broadcast of the Australian Open starting with 1979's opening theme that features an incredibly dramatic soundtrack. By the time the flying ABC logo hits the screen, you're just gagging for some golf to hit the screen.

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More from Tom Watson: Anchoring, Olympics and a 14-year old at the US Masters

There are more words of wisdom from Tom Watson to share.
We wrote earlier about Tom Watson's press conference this morning at The Lakes ahead of this week's Australian Open, but there was much more interesting stuff from Watson we just had to share. 
So here's more from the eight-time major winner. It's long, but I hope you'll agree it's worth the read as he was fascinating to listen to.
On the anchoring ban:

"I agree. I say that with mixed emotions. This (demonstrates) is not a stroke of golf but it makes it easier to play. My son Michael with a conventional putting stroke could not make it from two feet half the time. He went to a belly putter and he makes everything. The game is fun to him. There lies the danger."

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Tom Watson talks about air-swings, losing and AFL

Tom Watson fronted the media this morning ahead of his appearance at the Australian Open and was his usual charming, thoughtful self.

Tom Watson is now 63-years-old. He is suffering from jetlag from his flight from South Africa has a cold and of course, eight majors under his belt. You could be forgiven for thinking he may not have wanted to front the media for too long ahead of this week's Australian Open, but Watson was his charming, absorbing and entertaining best.
Watson spent a good half hour with a few journalists before fronting the media room apologising for his cold and with little prompting told everyone about his first ever air-swing at the Champion of Champions event at Victoria Golf Club in Melbourne in 1976.

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2012 Australian Open: The favourites

We take a critical look at the five golfers the bookies have installed as the favourites to win the Emirates Australian Open this week.

The best field to grace Australian fairways in 2012 arrives at The Lakes in Sydney with Adam Scott teeing up as the clear favourite to win his second Australian Open title. He emphatically held off Ian Poulter to win the Australian Masters at Kingston Heath a few weeks ago, and will be very difficult to beat this week. 
But the field has much greater depth than at Kingston Heath and contains a few names that can beat Scott if he fails to fire. Let's take a look at five golfers who the bookies think can win this week.

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It’s Australian Open week!

The Emirates Australian Open tees off at The Lakes this week featuring American legend, Tom Watson.

Aussie Golfer will be on course all week covering the action from The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney – remember to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for even more bits and pieces from around The Lakes.


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