Inside Golf : Inside Golf July 2017
news www.insidegolf.com.au | July 2017 9 Eat. Drink. Play. Your club’s food, drinks and golf gear delivered during play! fetched ON THE FAIRWAY with fetched Find out why more clubs are using fetched to deliver five star service to their players at fetched.co . Club Managers: register at fetched.co/insidegolf with the promo code IG2017 or call us on 1300 338 243. AlArge contingent of Australians will travel to royal Birkdale this month to contest the 146th Open Championship, 16-23 July. Marc leishman, Scott Hend, Cameron Smith, Adam Bland, Matthew griffin, Ashley Hall, Aaron Baddeley, Adam Scott and Jason Day have all secured starts (at press time). Bland was the latest to punch his ticket to The Open, following an impressive finish at the Mizuno Open in Japan. He will make his third start in The Open after finishing in third place on seven-under-par in Japan. The 34-year-old previously played in The Open at St Andrews in 2015, following his Open debut at royal liverpool in 2006. “I’m just really excited. This will be my third Open, I haven’t been to royal Birkdale so I’m hoping I can perform better than I have the last few times,” noted Bland. Since first hosting The Open in 1954, royal Birkdale has been (alongside royal lytham) the most regular venue for the Championship other than St Andrews. royal Birkdale has seen its share of memorable moments in golfing folklore. The club was the scene of Peter Thomson’s first chance to the lift the Claret Jug in 1954, as well as his final of five wins in 1965. Arnold Palmer’s magnificent shot out from a blackberry bush at 16 in 1961 is another highlight; a plaque now sits to commemorate the feat that contributed to his first Open victory. royal Birkdale was also the venue for the 1969 ryder Cup, which featured golf ’s “ultimate act of sportsmanship”, when Jack Nicklaus conceded Tony Jacklin’s short putt to ensure the first tie in ryder Cup history. Padraig Harrington is the most recent Champion at royal Birkdale, earning back- to-back victories in 2008, where Australians robert Allenby, Adam Scott and greg Norman were all in the spotlight. Allenby’s first-round score of 69 saw him tied for the lead after round 1, with both Norman and Scott one shot back. Norman, at age 53, continued his fine form on days two and Aussies to bAttle At the open three, eventually grabbing the tournament lead in round 3. In the process, Norman earned the title of the oldest player to hold at least a share of the 54-hole lead at The Open ( Tom Watson would claim the title the following year). A disappointing final-round 77 (including eight bogeys) saw Norman finish T3. Other names to grace the Champions honour board at the club include lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Johnny Miller, Ian Baker-Finch (who set a new course record for royal Birkdale in 1991 with a 64 in the third round, which he promptly lost the next day) and Mark O’Meara. Situated in the North West coast of england, royal Birkdale features fairways that weave through imposing sand dunes, as well as one of the most demanding opening holes of any of The Open’s host venues. Tight fairways, as well as the unrelenting wind which blows from the Irish Sea, require accurate ball-striking. Over 200,000 spectators are expected to attend this year’s event, which could smash the attendance record (173,000) set last year at royal Troon. More: www.theopen.com Course Par: 70 Yardage: 7156 yds Previous Opens: 1954, 1961, 1965, 1971, 1976, 1983, 1991, 1998, 2008 lowest score in 2008: 65, Camilo Villegas QuiCK stAts: RoYAl biRKDAle Royal Birkdale (Photo: R&A) FiVe stAtes AGRee to oneGolF MoDel MOMeNTuM is building around Onegolf as the administration of golf in Australia moves towards a more streamlined, cost- effective model. golf Australia CeO Stephen Pitt confirmed that five of seven states (including the NT) had now made in- principle commitments to a model that will bring all participating state and territory governing bodies under the golf Australia umbrella, freeing up funding and resources to tackle the sport’s biggest grass-roots issues. “ We’re delighted that to this point we have five states on board in principle,” Pitt said. “ We need to work through the implementation details and make sure those boards are comfortable and then we need a consultation process with their members to make sure those members will support their state board in signing the service agreements.” Pitt confirmed that Onegolf had reached a sufficient critical mass that it can and will operate without complete support from all corners of Australia. “ To this point we don’t have support from either WA or NSW, but we will operate a hybrid system if need be.” Pitt said the proposal will help maintain golf ’s strong position in a competitive marketplace against other sports. “One of the main advantages of Onegolf is that it will put more money into the game. Independent expert advice says that through its synergies, we can expect in the vicinity of $3-4million annually that we can invest into the sport,” he said. “Beyond that, to have a system in which we’re all aligned, unified and have a common purpose and direction that we’ve jointly identified, it will give us a better result for more people in the sport.
Inside Golf June 2017
Inside Golf August 2017