Australian Open to Celebrate Centenary


The Hillross Australian Open celebrates its centenary this week as the tournament is played at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney.
Michael Scott won the first Open in 1904. Since then, Australian golfers have set out over the globe. Six Aussies won in America this year with 20 set to play on the U.S. tour next year.
Two-time Aussie Open champion Aaron Baddeley will tee it up. Veteran Peter Lonard, also a PGA Tour regular, will be back to defend the title he won last year.
The centenary celebrations will be highlighted by the attendance of Arnold Palmer, who won the Australian Open in 1966.
Stuart Appleby, Rod Pampling, Mark Hensby, Adam Scott and Andre Stolz ' all winners on Americas PGA Tour this year ' will be absent. Only Scott is in the running for the tours Order of Merit honor, as players are required to play at least four tournaments for the honor and those players have already missed events earlier in the year. Only two tourneys remain after this week, the Australian PGA and the Australian Masters.
The top three players in the Order of Merit money list get invitations to the British Open and U.S. Open. Only Craig Parry and Scott, of the 2004 winners on the U.S. tour, are eligible for the award. Aussies Robert Allenby and Rod Pampling also are ineligible, neither having played enough events on the Australian circuit.

Scott is skipping the Australian Open but has played in enough Aussie events to be eligible for the Order of Merit. He will be playing the Merrill Lynch Skins Game in Hawaii this week with Tiger Woods, Annika Sorenstam and Fred Couples.
Ten of the worlds top 100 will play in Australia, with the highest-ranking being Appleby at No. 18.
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