Date: November 27, 2013
Author: Martin Blake / Royal Sydney

AUDIO: Stolz combo make the Open family affair

Listen to Andre and Zac chat with AOTV&aposs Andy Maher on SEN A little piece of history will be created on Thursday when Zac and Andre Stolz, a father and son combination, tee it up together in the Emirates Australian Open. The 18-year-old Zac was still on a high today after he finished in the top three in qualifying at Carnarvon Golf Club and won his place in the field for the $1.25 million tournament alongside his longtime professional father Andre. “I can&apost feel my heartbeat at the moment. I&aposm still buzzing,&apos&apos he said. It was his third attempt to qualify, and it started badly, with bogeys on the second and third holes before he reeled in the leaders. “I found a way to get it done on the back nine. I&aposm pumped to finally get through.&apos&apos Andre Stolz, 43, has been a professional since 1992 and had a stint in America before returning to live on the NSW central coast. The high point of his career was his victory in the Michelin Championship on the United States PGA Tour in 2004, but he has been troubled by a wrist injury recently and had considered skipping this week&aposs Open. “It&aposs been bothering me for about four months,&apos&apos he said. “I played in Melbourne and it wasn&apost great, but I missed the cut because I putted so badly. But since then it&aposs locked up and it&aposs killing me. I had a cortisone injection in it a few days ago and I sacked my caddie because I didn&apost think I&aposd need him this week but all of a sudden Zac as got in so I&aposll be playing because it&aposs a special moment for us.&apos&apos Zac Stolz spent at least five years of his life living in America and was naturally drawn to the game. He plays out of Pymble Golf Club in Sydney, still lives on the central coast, but is about to take up a golf scholarship at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. “Dad put a club in my hands just about before I could walk, so I&aposve always played golf. But I didn&apost play seriously until I was 14 or 15. On my good days I can beat him, but he usually finds a way.&apos&apos The younger Stolz played with his father at the NSW PGA championship last year and at the South Pacific Open Championship in New Caledonia in September, but this is believed to be the first time a father-son combination has played together in an Australian Open since Gary and Wayne Player teed it up in the 1979 Open at Metropolitan. Andre Stolz is not expecting to win this week, but he has other motivation. “My expectation levels for myself are pretty low this week, which is probably good because Zach&aposs going to take a lot of my focus, but I love the course and being in Sydney because I&aposm it&aposs my home town (he finished tied sixth at the 2008 Aust Open on this course). “The wrist is feeling better than it did a couple of days ago but I won&apost be able to practice at all. I will just try to wing it and go out and play.&apos&apos As for Zach, he just wants to get to the weekend. “To make the cut, I would be ecstatic,&apos&apos he said. “But it&aposs just great to be playing in such a big event with Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy and these types of guys in the field. And Dad of course!&apos&apos