Geoff Ogilvy launches Big City Golf Sydney, Australia: The 2007 MFS Australian Open was launched with a big city theme, a big band and lots of fanfare from iconic landmark, the Sydney Opera House, and a plethora of innovations. “Big City Golf” is the theme and befits its status as a “Hallmark Event”. “We are changing the way tournament golf is experienced both on and off the course,” said Paul McNamee, Executive Chairman of the Australian Opens, Golf Australia. “Golf scores and highlights will be available virtually everywhere, on mobile phones, your PC, at work and at home and on specially designed on-course kiosks. It will change the way we experience golf. “There&aposs a top field, prize money increased to a record $1.75 million (up $250,000 for the second year in a row), a focus on spectator interactivity with fashion and technology and an overall bigger experience as never seen before at an Australian golfing event, all set in a stadium course which is perfect for viewing the action.” NSW Premier Morris Iemma said the MFS Australian Open is synonymous with Sydney and recognised as one of Australia&aposs flagship annual sporting events. “The Open is our national golfing title with a tradition and history unrivalled in Australian golf,” Mr Iemma said. “The 2006 Open at Royal Sydney was a tremendous success, attracting 40,000 spectators over four days of world class golf, highlighted by John Senden&aposs dramatic birdie-birdie finish to claim the championship by one stroke. “I look forward to this year&aposs Open being just as exciting for fans as well as promoting Sydney, Australia&aposs global city, through national and international television coverage. “Sydney will again host the Open in 2008 and 2009, fitting perfectly into our commitment to continue to secure major international events,” Mr Iemma said. A stellar line-up will assemble at The Australian Golf Club to compete for the heralded Stonehaven Cup. The field includes the cream of Australia&aposs golf elite with seven players ranked in the world&aposs top 50, headed by 2006 US Open Champion Geoff Ogilvy and two-time Open winner Aaron Baddeley, world-class young Australian talent led by Jason Day and Nick Flanagan, and a bigger group of overseas challengers, headed by 2005 US Open Champion Michael Campbell, PGA Tour winner Brandt Snedeker, 2006 Johnnie Walker Classic winner Kevin Stadler and the cream of the Asian, Korean and Japan Tours. “This is the one event that the Australians really look forward to come home to. The Aussies up front deliver a stellar field what a talent pool of Australian golfers to be able to showcase,” said McNamee. In a first of its kind in Australia, golf fans will have instant access to live scores and statistics at their finger tips, thanks to data capturing and analysis experts Cadability. In addition to electronic kiosks stationed throughout the course, Cadability will capture hole-by-hole live data and present it on a variety of devices, enabling people everywhere to be closer to the action. “This initiative really excites me,” said McNamee. “Golf has traditionally been a tricky sport in which to follow all of the action simultaneously when you&aposre out on the course. The technology used by Cadability instantly reduces the size of the golf course and gives fans immediate access to multiple pieces of data.” Joining naming rights sponsor MFS and Sydney Major Events is new hole sponsor Myer. Myer steps up to the tee to bring fashion to the fairways at this hallmark event. Thursday December 13 will be Myer Ladies Day at the MFS Australian Open, and Myer will host fashion shows, pamper spectators and reward the best dressed golfers. Oakley and Drummond Golf will bring atmosphere to the MFS Australian Open. In an innovative move, the Par 3 11th Hole will provide interaction and Apr s Golf entertainment, ensuring the Open is celebrated in a fun way. “It all adds up to a bigger experience,” said McNamee. McNamee is also excited by the strengthening of ties with the region. This year is the first time Asian players have been formally invited to play in the Open. “It&aposs important that we have strong engagement with Asia if we are to be a regionally significant event, said McNamee. Five of the top 25 players from the Asian Tour Order of Merit, a further five of the top 25 from the Japan Tour Order of Merit, and three of the top 15 players from the Korean Tour Order of Merit will have direct entry into the field. All in all the 2007 MFS Australian Open has stepped up again and promises to be a big city event for spectators and for viewers through the Channel 7 live broadcast. Held at The Australian Golf Club from December 13-16, this year&aposs MFS Australian Open will be the 92nd playing of Australia&aposs greatest golf championship, and the 17th time The Australian Golf Club has played host to the Open. Tickets are now available from Ticketmaster outlets, by calling 1300 136 122 or on-line at www.ticketmaster.com.au.