Date: February 10, 2009
Author: Angus Morgan at Metropolitan GC, Sportal

Course set to pose challenge

Tournament director Trevor Herden believes Metropolitan will provide a tougher test of golf for the field in this week&aposs Women&aposs Australian Open than the players encountered in the 2008 event at nearby Kingston Heath. Hosting a women&aposs tour event for the first time &aposMetro&apos is in outstanding shape according to Herden thanks to the dedicated work of ground staff and members who&aposve defied nature by creating an oasis in the heart of Melbourne&aposs &apossandbelt&apos. “It&aposs fair to say the golf course is amazing, fantastic,” said Herden on Tuesday. “We all talk about the sandbelt, but this is right there, the cream of the sandbelt.” “Set up for a major championship such as the Australian Open it&aposs got plenty of teeth, but strong players will have every opportunity around the greens because they&aposre immaculate.” Herden nominated the 1st and 10th – both par-fours expected to play into the southerly winds forecast for this week – as critical holes and predicted a winning score in the region of Karrie Webb&aposs nine-under total at &aposThe Heath&apos last year. “I think for the girls it might be a tougher test than last year,” Herden said. Webb will partner 2008 European moneylist winner Gwladys Nocera of France and American veteran Brandie Burton in the first of Thursday&aposs marquee groups scheduled to get away at 7.50am AEDT. They&aposll be followed directly by the trio of Swede Lotta Wahlin and Australians Nikki Garratt and Sarah Kemp. Most eyes in the afternoon will be on 12.40pm pairing of Laura Davies with Tamie Durdin and last week&aposs winner of the Australian Ladies Masters at Royal Pines, Katherine Hull.