Date: July 05, 2007

Aussies set to tackle Carnoustie

With the Open Championship just around the corner, 189 Australians are getting set for one of the world&aposs most feared courses, Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland. Having already dealt with (and felt the full force of) Oakmont Country Club throughout the US Open, things won&apost get much easier for the world&aposs best as they finalise preparation to the British Open commencing on July 19. The par-71 layout in East Scotland is challenging at the best of times, let alone when the weather has a say in the matter. Carnoustie is infamously known for the 1999 Open Championship which saw the world&aposs elite players cut down by a combination of an extremely tough course setup and unforgiving weather conditions. Back then, Craig Parry was Australia&aposs best in a tie for fourth place just one stroke behind a playoff berth alongside Justin Leonard, eventual winner Paul Lawrie and Frenchman Jean Van De Velde whose legendary meltdown on the 72nd hole has since gone down in golfing folklore. In last year&aposs Championship, Adam Scott was Australia&aposs best performer, shooting a nine-under to finish in a share of eighth, but seven shots off the pace of runaway leader Tiger Woods who won an emotion-charged tournament at Royal Liverpool shortly after the passing of his father. Scott will go into the 2007 Open Championship at Carnoustie with lingering question marks over his form and his ability to negotiate challenging layouts. Although ranked fourth in the world, Scott has just one win to his name this year and had a disappointing US Open which included a birdie-less second round of 82 on his way to a weekend off. The 26-year old celebrates his birthday just two days before the opening round and would love nothing more than to mark it with a strong showing in Scotland. Aaron Baddeley is another Aussie who will go into the Open Championship feeling like he has something to prove. The 26-year old led after 54 holes at Oakmont but suffered a final round collapse to finish back in the field. Although disappointing for the Aussie, Baddeley showed plenty of fight throughout the tournament and can learn a lot from the experience. Make no mistake; Baddeley will be determined to prove that he has the staying power to win a Major. Other big Australian names in the field include former US Open winner Geoff Ogilvy, Australian Triple Crown winner Robert Allenby, eight-time PGA Tour winner Stuart Appleby and defending MFS Australian Open champ John Senden. However joining the big guns of Australian golf in the field is a bunch of lesser-known players who have earned their stripes through international qualifying. Ben Bunny, David Gleeson, Ewan Porter and Terry Pilkadaris will all line up in the 138-strong field on July 19. Also competing will be former Golf Australia National Squad player Won Joon Lee who succeeded through the Asian qualifying rounds. Australians competing in the Open Championship at Carnoustie, Scotland Robert Allenby Stuart Appleby Aaron Baddeley Ben Bunny Peter Fowler David Gleeson Adam Groom Mark Hensby Scott Laycock Won Joon Lee Geoff Ogilvy Nick O&aposHern Rod Pampling Terry Pilkadaris Ewan Porter Adam Scott John Senden Paul Sheehan