There is also a strong favourite for the Australian Open in Adam Scott (pictured). He has been using a belly putter for several years so will be affected by the recent ruling which will ban anchoring the putter in the stomach. Belly putters will not be banned but in future only a smooth swing without leverage will be allowed.
The directive from the governing bodies was on the rules agenda well before the British Open in July. However, seeing the players that finished first and second using putting techniques that some have suggested should be banned no doubt prompted more immediate action on the issue. Webb Simpson used an anchoring method of putting when winning the US Open in June.
Greg Chalmers is the defending champion and looks a leading contender again this week. He backed up last year by winning the Australian PGA and just faltered at the Australian Masters in his attempt to win the Australian Triple Crown, a feat only achieved by Robert Allenby in 2005.
Justin Rose is also competing in Australia but it is hard to understand why he is taking on such a long journey during what is supposed to be the winter break, especially for players like Rose who play on both main Tours. Marc Leishman won his first PGA title last season and makes more appeal as a potential winner.
Kyle Stanley is another US Tour winner in a field that lacks strength in depth beyond the leading dozen players in the world rankings.Stanley won the Phoenix Open in February but did not record another top 10 finish during 2012. His motivation for playing in Australia seems difficult to understand but a confidence boosting Top 5 finish is possible at this level.
The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney has been the host complex for the last two renewals of the Australian Open. It is home to one of the most challenging championship golf courses in Australia. This is a links style course that has seen modifications over the year’s to maintain its status as a suitable venue for championship golf. Chalmers and Geoff Ogilvy form its recent role of honour as winners of the national championship of Australia in the last two years.