Date: November 25, 2015
Author: Martin Blake

Legends gather to mark 100th Open

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Nineteen past winners of the Emirates Australian Open gathered on the first tee at The Australian today to swap yarns and reflect on past glory.

Then they each hit a drive down the first fairway and posed for a group photograph as the national championship approaches its 100th playing.

The Open dates to 1904 and its centenary was celebrated in 2004, but because several years were lost to the wars, this is the 100th time it has been contested. Appropriately, it is at the original venue from 1904.

Reigning champion Jordan Spieth was there along with recent winners such as Geoff Ogilvy, Adam Scott, John Senden and Greg Chalmers.

Peter Thomson, who won the third of three titles in 1972, came along, and so did David Graham, who won in 1977, all the way from Dallas, Texas. Frank Phillips, who won in 1957 and 1961, enjoyed the occasion, too.

"I'm very proud of our Open,'' said Thomson, arguably Australia's greatest-ever player and a winner of five British Open Championships.

Adam Scott summed it up nicely: ''It was a very nice touch to celebrate the 100th playing today, having quite a lot of former champions there,'' he said. "It's nice to just appreciate the great history that this event has. For everyone there, we play a lot of golf and it's a long career, to reflect back on the year that you won is a nice feeling. Every one of us would've done that for a few seconds today.''