Date: November 21, 2007
Author: Bren O'Brien

Green eyes gold again

Richard Green, the 2004 MasterCard Masters champion, has predicted a score around 16-under will be enough to claim this week&aposs tournament at Huntingdale. Green grew up playing on Melbourne&aposs sand belt and said that while up to 20mm of rain had fallen on the course on Wednesday, he doesn&apost expect the famous Huntingdale greens to soften up too much. “It played pretty well out there. The course has held up pretty well. There was lot of rain overnight and a lot of rain today but I thought the greens held up very well and the fairways are just beautiful. There&aposs a couple of wet bunkers but nothing you can&apost play out of. I think it going to be good,” he said. Last year&aposs winner Justin Rose shot 11-under, while in 2005 and in 2004, respective winners Robert Allenby and Green himself shot 271, or 17-under par. Green expects similar scores this time around. “It&aposs usually around 16 or 18 under par. If the greens firm up over the weekend I think around 16-under par would be a pretty good total. I think if the greens stay soft you might see it a bit higher,” he said. Apart from his fourth at the British Open, Green has endured a tough year, with a back injury suffered at the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Germany is September forcing him to miss vital time at the end of the season.. Green was attempting to pick up his suitcase before the final round of that tournament when he felt a twinge in his back. It was a bitter blow as he was well in contention for the tournament and could only manage a 76 on the final day. “It was pretty ordinary for a while, it probably knocked me out for three and a half weeks. It&aposs good now, 100 per cent,” he said. “I did quite a lot of chiropractic work, and quite a bit of massage and do a lot of stretching. For a while there I didn&apost see much light at the end of the tunnel, and I was pretty concerned.” The only advantage Green got from his layoff was getting home in time to see his beloved Geelong win the AFL premiership. He will wear the club shirt this week, and is hopeful it will bring him some luck. “I&aposm hoping so. The guys did a great job in the grand final and it&aposs a bit of a tribute to them and a bit of a congratulations thing.” he said. “I&aposve got a pretty good shirt to wear on Sunday, hopefully I&aposm in a good position to show it off.” It&aposs clear that Green loves playing in Melbourne and at Huntingdale. It was here three years ago that he prevailed from a three-way playoff against Greg Chalmers and David McKenzie, and grabbed his most memorable triumph. “Melbourne&aposs home and I&aposm around family and friends and I don&apost have to travel anywhere to be here,” he said. “I was a member here for a long time and spent a lot of time here. I know the golf course like the back of my hand and just really enjoy it. It&aposs probably one of the best conditioned golf courses we play all year. It&aposs very exciting.”