the PGA Tour of Australasia resuming next week, the field for the Mazda NSW Open is again shaping up to feature some of the cream of the current crop of leading Australian professional and amateur golfers.
The name Peter Lonard has been synonymous with Australian golf for a number of decades particularly when you consider he is a multiple winner on the Australian Tour having won the country's biggest events – Australian Masters, Australian PGA Championship and the coveted Australian Open title. Throw in his win at the NSW Open in 2004, and you have one of the most successful golfers to have played the game in Australia in recent times.
Nathan Green is another who has had great success playing on the lucrative US PGA Tour, winning the Canadian Open in 2009 against a field that contained some of the world's best players. In 2009 and 2010 Green, a Hunter Valley local, became the NSW Open tournament host and represented the event domestically and when competing overseas. Whilst not successful in winning the event during those years, he was in contention throughout and will be sure to be in the running again this year.
Ashley Hall and James Nitties will also provide US tour experience to the tournament, with both performing well on the web.com Tour as well as recent events in WA. Both have been great supporters of the Mazda NSW Open in recent years, and are sure to take a liking to the Stonecutters Ridge layout. Being joined by two recent NSW Open winners in Leigh McKechnie (2009) and Adam Crawford (2011), as well as two time Australian Masters champion, Brad Hughes, there is certainly the possibility of a well-known name coming out in front at the end.
The NSW Open traditionally provides opportunities for some of the best amateur golfers to experience tournament golf, and this year's event is no different. One of the world's leading amateurs, Korean golfer Gunn Yang, is heading down under and eager to capitalise on his success in claiming the US Amateur title in August. The US Amateur has previously been won by the likes of Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods (3 times) and Matt Kuchar prior to their successful professional careers.
A feature of the tournament this year will be the two fantastic opportunities for the players who achieve a Hole in One on two separate holes during the event.
Principal Partner, Mazda, will be offering their outstanding CX-5 GT Akera to any player securing the ultimate shot, on the 181metre 16th hole, over the final two rounds on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th November. At such a picturesque hole, where the green is located downhill from the tee, there is sure to be enormous spectator interest in whether a player can get a Hole in One.
At the same time, and ironically on an adjoining hole heading in the opposite direction, the 11th, official beer partner, Stockade, are putting up a year's supply of beer to any player for the same feat, but this over all four rounds of the tournament.
With these fantastic prizes on offer to all the players, there is sure to be some attacking golf on show around the entire course, but certainly the opportunity to witness a Hole in One on two separate holes, and with the lure of one great shot securing one of these great prizes, is a chance the players will be itching to take.
Spectators planning to head out to Stonecutters Ridge will enjoy free entry to the course and will be encouraged to walk the fairways with their favourite players during all four rounds on the challenging Greg Norman designed layout.
There will be plenty of food and drink options available and the chance to get up close with some of Australia's best professional golfers.