Date: September 02, 2010

Couples to star at Australian Open

Read Fred Couples&apos Media Bio American Fred Couples, one of the most popular and successful players in the game, has confirmed he will compete in this year s Australian Open on OneAsia. The 50-year-old former US Masters champion who is currently enjoying an outstanding maiden season on the Champions Tour will draw the crowds when the championship tees-off at The Lakes in Sydney from December 2 to 5. Prize money for the prestigious event will be US$1.3 million (AU$1.5 million) and for the second successive season it will be the penultimate leg on OneAsia. Minister for Major Events Kevin Greene said Sydney is synonymous with the Australian Open, a flagship event of our great sporting nation, first played in Sydney in 1904. To have one of golf’s most respected players Fred Couples playing this year is an honour for Sydney and this historic tournament. Together with Golf Australia we have a vision to transform the Australian Open into the pre-eminent golf tournament on OneAsia , Minister Greene said. Couples is the latest big name addition to the tournament which will also feature defending champion Adam Scott from Australia and his compatriots Greg Norman, a five-time winner of the event, and Geoff Ogilvy. American John Daly also recently announced he will join the stellar field. Said Couples: I am very much looking forward to playing in the Australian Open in particular The Lakes Golf Club. I have not been to Sydney for some time and look forward to visiting this magnificent city once again. Couples participation will also mean the tournament will provide golf fans with the exciting chance to see last year s two Presidents Cup captains. The American captained his side to victory over Norman s International Team. Couples continues to play golf at the highest level. This year he won his first Champions Tour event in only his second start at ACE Group Classic and went on to win two more tournaments. During a glittering career he claimed the US Masters in 1992 and won 14 other US PGA Tour titles. He triumphed in the World Cup with Davis Love III for four consecutive years from 1992 and played in five Ryder Cups. He is known the world over as Boom boom because of the huge drives he hits with his effortless and much admired swing. Golf Australia CEO Stephen Pitt said With a top six finish at Augusta and three wins on the Champions Tour, Fred is an outstanding competitor and one of the world s most exciting players to watch. Watching both Presidents Cup captains alongside fan favourite John Daly will be a major thrill for our crowds. Last year Scott won his first Australian Open title by five shots over compatriot Stuart Appleby after a tense final round at the NSW Golf Club. The Australian Open was first played in 1904 and has been won by the biggest names in the game. South African Gary Player has lifted the Stonehaven Cup a record seven times while Jack Nicklaus from the United States has been victorious on six occasions. The Australian Open is a flagship sporting event on the NSW Master Events Calendar developed by Events NSW on behalf of the NSW Government. The Australian Open will be showcased on OneAsia&aposs television platform with live coverage for four hours a day across all four tournament days, and broadcast to over 260 million homes in more than 40 countries. Full coverage of the event will be available domestically on Network Ten, as well as internationally on ESPN Star Sports, Jupiter Golf Network, SBS Golf Channel, Fox International, Sky Sports NZ, ESPN3 & America One in the USA, ViaSat & Bloomberg Television among others in Europe. Tickets for the Australian Open go on sale from today and can be purchased through Ticketek by phoning 13 28 49 or