Date: December 19, 2008

Stonehaven Cup heads to South Africa

South African Tim Clark flew out of Australia with the honour of being crowned the 2008 Australian Open champion at Royal Sydney Golf Club and having his name etched on the Stonehaven Cup. In a thrilling finale, Clark defeated Tasmanian Mathew Goggin on the first sudden death play-off hole as crowds lined the fairways in an absorbing contest. Clark became the first South African to win the title since Gary Player in 1974- the 1974 victory marking Player s record-breaking seventh win at the Australian Open. Due to the Australian Open s doubled world ranking points, Clark climbs fourteen places on the World Rankings as a result of his win and is now World number 28. Goggin jumps to World number 58 on the back of his second straight runner-up finish. The championship also marked the emergence of Western Australian Stephen Dartnall who thrilled the crowds with opening rounds of 65 and 68 to lead the field going into the weekend. It was all the more memorable for the young professional who earned his spot in the Australian Open in final qualifying just three days earlier at New Brighton Golf Club. More than 45,000 people turned out to watch Australian golf’s international players over the four days. Championship Director Trevor Herden said the championship was an overwhelming success. We are delighted with the attendance and TV ratings which were up on 2007, Herden said. Our attendance rates were higher than last year and our merchandise sales were a record. The championship now prepares for its debut at New South Wales Golf Club at La Perouse next year. The Dr Alister McKenzie-designed course will provide a stunning backdrop and major challenge for Australia s most prestigious golf title.