The Australian Masters starts tomorrow at Victoria Golf Club, one of Melbourne’s sandbelt gems. There has been no media hype, but the quality of course and the field sets up for an excellent tournament. The lack of media attention has been deafening, with very little promotion and limited publicity. It was always going to be a hard sell after the Masters was unceremoniously booted from its November spot to a week before Christmas. Of course, something had to give in the hectic Presidents Cup period. Unfortunately the PGA played on a resort course was given more prominence than the Masters played on a classic sandbelt layout.
The Masters also is Tiger-less for the first time in 3 years but the lineup is still impressive and stronger than the PGA field. The headline act is another world number one, Luke Donald. Two years ago, the Australian Masters hosted world number one Tiger Woods at Kingston Heath. Whilst Donald doesnt have the Tigermania, he has had a pretty impressive year being the first player to top both US and European tours, a quick look at his year:
- PGA tour player of the year – 19 events, 2 wins, 14 top 10 finishes
- Leading PGA Tour money winner: $6.7 million
- European tour – 13 events, 3 wins, 10 top 10 finishes
- Leading European Tour money winner: 5.3 million euros
Very impressive stats from a player who is top of his game. Donald is also supported by Ian Poulter (always referred to as the Flamboyant Ian Poulter), Italian young guns Matteo Manaserro, and a host of top Australians including Geoff Ogilvy, John Senden and Greg Chalmers aiming for the triple having won the Australian Open and PGA.
More information on the tournament available at http://www.australianmasters.com.au/