Big Names Convene in Australia


A star-studded field travels to the Land Down Under this week as members of the European Tour join forces with the Australasian and Asian Tours for the 11th annual tri-sanctioned Johnnie Walker Classic.
Played at the Lake Karrinyup Country Club in Perth, this year marks the first time in the tournaments history that Australia will serve as the host country.
Local legend Greg Norman was the last Aussie to win the Johnnie Walker in 1984, and his young countrymen Aaron Baddeley and Adam Scott will try to follow in his footsteps in 2002.
So, too, will Justin Rose.
The Englishman took his first victory as a professional at last weeks Dunhill Championship, and certainly appears to be one of the stronger forces emerging on the tour.
The three young guns will also be joined in Perth by Spanish sensation Sergio Garcia, who is hoping to continue on his game plan this year of winning the money titles from both the European and PGA Tours.
For the youngster to get any closer to his objectives, however, hell have to beat some of the finest veterans in the game this week as U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen tees it up along with Ernie Els, Colin Montgomerie, Nick Faldo and Michael Campbell.
About the only name who is missing from this years edition is the tournaments defending champion, Tiger Woods.
Woods shot rounds of 68-65-65-65 last year to end with a three-stroke victory at 25-under-par.
However, ever since his appearance two weeks ago at the New Zealand Open, the worlds No. 1 player has decided to take time off until the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in California.
While he will be sorely missed in Australia, those in attendance will not be disappointed. Lake Karrinyup is one of the countrys finest and oldest layouts. Originally designed in 1928, the track has hosted two Australian Opens as well as a Western Australian Open.