The Australian Masters tees off this Thursday at the Metropolitan Golf Club situated on the famous golfing sandbelt. It is one of the finest championship courses in Australia.
Like all true sandbelt courses it rewards accuracy both off the tee and into the greens. Reports are that the bent-grass greens are running very fast and are cut right to the edge of the bunkers, which should make for interesting viewing.
Adam Scott is the clear cut favourite this year as he attempts to make it three Gold Jackets in a row. Photos have already appeared of him on twitter practising on the course.
The field this year consists of the who’s who of Australian Golf with names like Geoff Ogilvy, Marcus Fraser, Stuart Appleby, Richard Green, Robert Allenby and Greg Chalmers all teeing it up. Boo Weekley and Kyle Stanley will be flying the flag for America this year.
The three players to follow this week are:
When it comes to break out years you can not look past Zac. The 24 year old American started 2014 ranked no.1514 in the World and finds himself this week at no.219. From 26 starts he’s had 14 Top 25 finishes and only 7 missed cuts.
He started out on the Latino American Tour and slowly worked his way on to the web.com tour.
In August Blair finished T2nd in the Price Cutter Charity Championship and backed that up with a 2nd place in September at the Web.com Tour Championship which earned him a spot on the PGA Tour.
So far he has had five starts on the main tour and hit the ground running. Highlights have been T12th Frys.com Open and T23rd at his last start in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.
His stats from the five PGA Tour starts have him hitting 72% of greens in regulation and ranked 39th in strokes gained putting and 13th in scrambling. Great stats for this course. Keep a close eye on him this week. Zac is a solid golfer with a bright future ahead of him.
It has been a great year for Matthew with victory in February at the Victorian Open where he won in a 3 hole sudden death play-off then in July on the Korean Tour he had a 3 stroke victory at the Korean PGA Championship.
Matthew is a regular on the ANZ Tour and thrives in his own backyard. This is evident when you look at his last six starts. His last start was a T4th at the Perth International. Prior to that it was three missed cuts on the European Tour and OneAsia Tour. Leading up to that he was on the ANZ Tour with a T15th at the South Pacific Open and T3rd in the QLD Open.
Back in his home state of Victoria he gets to stay in his own bed and have all his creature comforts around him. Being a local lad he grew up on the sandbelt courses and knows what is required. It is also worth remembering that Griffin was T5th at last years Masters.
Dartnall has started 17 times in 2014 on the China Tour, Korean Tour and ANZ Tour. He has made 14 cuts and managed 7 Top 10 finishes. Very consistent golf.
Last start he was on the China Tour where he finished T50th in the Nine Dragons Open. Prior to that he was in Western Australia with results of T4th at the Perth International and 2nd in the WA Open Championship. Throw in a T11th at the China Masters before that and you have a player who is hitting it well and has his game primed for an assault this week.
Good luck and good punting.