Aussie golfers out to end Open drought - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Aussie golfers out to end Open drought

By Darren Walton 14/07/2010 02:26:28 PM Comments (0)

Australia's contingent will queue up to break a 50-year title drought at the home of golf as the 150th anniversary British Open gets underway on Thursday.

Not since Kel Nagle edged out Arnold Palmer by a shot in 1960 has an Australian raised the famous Claret Jug at St Andrews.

Adam Scott says that's way too long between drinks and hopes the milestone Open championship proves a good omen for one of the dozen Australians in this year's 156-man field.

"We must be due an Aussie win here, absolutely," Scott said. "Kel Nagle was a long time ago.

"It's the Open championship and I think it's wide open the way the R & A set up golf courses. It gives everyone a good chance if they play well. So my chance is as good as anyone else's.

"But, if not me, there are enough of us playing well enough with experience and also guys even playing well enough without the experience to break through here.

"Australian golf is still in great shape. We're producing a lot of good players."

There's been no better Australian player than Geoff Ogilvy in recent years and the 2006 US Open champion says a return to the magical links course in Scotland is enough to inspire any golfer to major glory.

"This is one I assume everyone looks forward to. I know I really look forward to it," Ogilvy said.

"I've come here a few times since the Open was here the last time (in 2005) anyway.

"If I'm ever anywhere in the neighbourhood, I try to come here because it's one of those sort of places.

"If I play well, I'm sure I'll be there or thereabouts. But you've got to play well."

John Senden led the Open after the first round last year after a brilliant 66 at Turnberry before being blown away in the worst of the day-two conditions to miss the cut.

Fresh off his best result of the season last week, 12th at the John Deere Classic, Senden will be among the first out this year - teeing off in the third group (3.52pm AEST) - and hopes to again post a low first-day number.

"Last year I had a nice early start and that proved good to me, so let's hope we can do it again," Senden said.

"Last week was a good confidence booster for this week and I'm enjoying the golf course so it should be good.

"It's my fifth British Open so it's about learning more and more each day and each year to try and get the feel for the links and hopefully we're getting closer.

"Fifty years is a good number, right? So let's hope so. There's plenty of Aussies here who could do it."

Mathew Goggin, who led on the back nine at Turnberry last year before finishing two strokes back in fifth spot, will be the first Australian to tee off on Thursday, alongside American Loren Roberts and German Marcel Siem at 3.41pm AEST.

Robert Allenby, Australia's top-ranked player at No.14 in the world, exciting 22-year-old Jason Day in his major debut, veteran Peter Senior plus Michael Sim and Ewan Porter also have morning starts in Scotland.

Scott, Ogilvy, Marc Leishman and qualifier Kurt Barnes have late tee times on day one of the championship.

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