Tom Watson Plays At Emirates Australian Open

By Les Bailey
Tom Watson
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Emirantes Australian Open Golf Tournament gets underway on Thursday morning at the the Lakes Golf Course in Sydney Australia. This tournament was rich with world golf talent last year, as top players were in town for the Presidents Cup, but it may be a little lean this year as the Race To Dubai has most of the top players physically worn out from globe hopping. Although the worlds number one golfer Rory McIlroy, was tired, and needed a break from the schedule, he would have played in Australia had the tournament officials been able to muster up a $2 Million dollar appearance fee.

The top players on tap for this event are Justin Rose, who is currently number four in the world, and by virtue of his fine showing at the  DP World Tour Championships, Dubai, number two in the 2012 Race To Dubai, and Australian Adam Scott. Scott is 7th in World Rankings, and due to his commitment on the PGA Tour, has no standing in the Race To Dubai on the European Tour.

The 14 year old phenom from China, and Masters qualifier, Guan Tianlang will play this week. Tianlang was the wire to wire winner at the Asian-Pacific Amateur Championship last month, and will tee it up with the big boys on Thursday morning.

There will only be five Americans down under, for this event. They are Garrett Sapp, Jason Kang, Kyle Stanley, Paul Sheehan, and Tom Watson. The 63 year old Watson won this tournament in 1984, when he was 35.

Greg Chalmers won this tournament last year, and will be paired with Tom Watson for the first two rounds when action gets underway on Thursday. The 39 year old Chalmers from Sydney,  played in 29 PGA Tour events in 2012, and made 19 cuts. He finished 81st on the Money list with just over $1 Million dollars. His best finish on the PGA tour was 9th at The Barclays during the FedEx Cup playoff.

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