Date: November 15, 2006

Initiatives boost for fans

Spectators at this week&aposs MFS Australian Open at Royal Sydney are in for some extra excitement with special initiatives being introduced this year, including twilight play and special go-zones. With organisers looking to make the tournament as fan-friendly as possible, those who do visit Royal Sydney will be in for a treat as they get closer to the action than usual and are then also entertained after the action finishes each night. Play will be extended until 7:15pm local time on Thursday and Friday to enable workers to get to the course after finishing for the day or for families to also catch some of the play, with children admitted free of charge. There have also been what are called go-zones on the fairways of holes one, four, seven, nine, 10, 11, 13 and 16 so that the fans can view approach shots from directly behind the players. Areas adjacent to the fourth, sixth, 12th and 16th greens have also been created so that fans can bring along deck chairs and set up a vantage point for the day and watch the groups as they play through. Youngsters will also get the chance to gain prized autographs from some of their favourite players with a designated zone set up outside the scorers&apos hut for kids to get in position and wait for the thrill of a lifetime. And as play finishes on the first three days, there will be what&aposs being called Apres Golf, with Broadway on the Fairway on Thursday, CinCin on Friday and Squared on Saturday, all presented by Music Theatre Australia. Starring Pot-Pourri, Broadway on the Fairway features highlights from favourite operas and musicals including Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and Madam Butterfly and songs including The Prayer and You Raise Me Up. CinCin is the jazz combo of Melissa and Didi Mudigdo, with Melissa on vocals and Didi playing the piano, and the pair has played at more than 300 weddings and corporate functions both here in Australia and overseas. And Squared Jazz is a jazz band that provides music for hotels, restaurants, bars, corporate functions, weddings and other special events, having been formed by Sydney&aposs best young jazz musicians who are all graduates of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.