Date: February 20, 2008
Author: Luke Buttigieg at Moonah Links

Thomson loves Moonah Links

Moonah Links course architect Peter Thomson would love to be tackling the layout in this week&aposs Moonah Classic. The five-time British Open champion was delighted that the course on Victoria&aposs Mornington Peninsula will host another Australasian PGA Tour event after the 2005 and 2007 Australian Opens were played there. With conditions proving tough on Wednesday with howling wind and heavy rain, a day after the temperature had climbed into the 30s, and with further rain tipped throughout the event, Thomson wishes he could be part of the field. “I wish I was a player, sitting here I&aposm thinking &aposwell I&aposd love to be a player telling them what I&aposm going to do&apos but alas all that&aposs gone,” Thomson said on tournament eve. “It&aposs a real thrill for me to see an event played here of this stature, this is a very important event and it will be here for this year and two more as part of the Nationwide Tour of the United States Tour, which makes I think it very important in the world of golf.” Thomson is obviously aware of how tough the conditions can get, citing the example of the 2005 Australian Open when the course &aposshowed its teeth&apos as Robert Allenby opened with a 63 and then shot 77 on the final day to just hang on and win the title. “So that&aposs what it&aposs capable of, a change in the entire weather, of wind and rain and sunshine and all that, but no we hope it would be fine and dry and just a steady wind of various directions,” he said. The three-time Australian Open winner repeated his thoughts on the course and the conditions, having had a look at how some of the players handled the tough layout on Tuesday. “I watched them tackle some of the holes in the wind, in the high wind, because it&aposs a pretty strong wind, and I could see that it was a problem for them to find the targets because of the wind,” Thomson said. “But I think any golfer, any pro golfer worth his salt, would be thrilled to play in a wind on a course like this.” And with so many young Australasian players having previously used strong results in these Nationwide Tour co-sanctioned events to launch themselves onto the US PGA Tour, Thomson is in no doubt how important the tournament is. “It&aposs a step on the ladder and if they take that step upwards well they may end up right at the top,” he said. “So we may be watching a young man for the first time who will eventually be the top dog, I hope he&aposs one of ours.”