Greg Chalmers won the first two legs of the Australian Triple Crown last year but that is unlikely to be repeated this year by Peter Senior who won the Australian Open last week. Senior is aged 53 and was winning the tournament 23 years after his previous win.
Twelve months ago Chalmers followed up his Open victory by taking the PGA Championship a week later. The third leg is the Australian Masters. The last player to win all three in the same year was Robert Allenby in 2005. However, that player has had a poor year in the States and it would be a surprise if he were to win this week.
Last week’s Australian Open was affected by severe winds. There was a three hour interruption during the final round. Senior used his vast experience to hold his game together better than most and win his second Australian Open.
The field for this tournament in Australia is similar to last week’s entry. However, Justin Rose is not playing which means the winner is more likely to come from the home contingent. John Senden has a decent opportunity, though he did have several winning opportunities on the PGA Tour in 2012 that he failed to convert.
Geoff Ogilvy (pictured) and Marc Leishman have won tournaments in the States and may prove to be at a different level to the home based players. Ogilvy won the US Open in 2006, taking advantage of critical errors by Phil Mickelson and Colin Mongtomerie to win his first major.
Leishman won the Travellers Championship in June. He shot a final round of 62 to come off the pace and set a clubhouse target that nobody could match. That win helped him reach 28th in the FedEx Cup standings and a career high of 89 in the world rankings.
Brett Rumford looks a leading contender this week. He managed to keep his game together reasonably well through the gales last week in Sydney. In his early career he was identified as a player who could prosper at the highest level.
Rumford has won three regular tournaments in Europe and on the Challenge Tour, the feeder tour for the main schedule in Europe. He is outside the top 200 in the current world rankings but at his best he could well contend this week. However, that may not be good enough to beat the class act that is Ogilvy.