Young Guns Lead Field at Ericsson Masters


Greg Norman Holden International champion Aaron Baddeley will be center stage among a group of young guns at this week's Ericsson Masters in Melbourne, Australia. Looking for a measure of revenge will be European Tour star Sergio Garcia, who lost in a playoff to Baddeley on Sunday, and Adam Scott, who won last month's Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa.

After winning his first Australian Open in 1999 as an amateur, Baddeley was scheduled to play the opening two rounds of this event with Garcia but had to withdraw citing a bad case of the flu. The two will not play together this week unless they meet again over the weekend.
Garcia should be highly motivated after falling on the first playoff hole to a birdie bomb by Baddeley. Garcia was also upset by a two-stroke penalty he incurred for an illegal drop during Saturday's third round. The fiery Spaniard hasn't had a victory in 16 months.
Also in the field are Aussies Craig Parry and Nick O'Hern, Swede Pierre Fulke, and Scotland's Colin Montgomerie. Parry is a past champion at this event winning in 1992, 1994 and 1996.
Monty is making his playing debut in 2001. He last saw action in early December in South Africa finishing 6th at the Nebank Challenge in Sun City. In 1996, he won the Dubai Desert Classic after a three-month layoff. That bit of history is bringing the 37 year-old a confident outlook this week.
'I won Dubai in 1996 after a three month break and I've had a two month break here and I feel very confident,' he said. 'The batteries were a bit flat and they're recharged now and I'm looking forward to it.'
Fulke has proven himself to be one of the game's top players over the last year with two wins in Europe including the Volvo Masters. He also reached the finals of the Accenture Match Play in January. He currently leads the European Order of Merit.
Last year's champion Michael Campbell will pass on a title defense this week. He has opted to play the European Tour's Malaysian Masters. Campbell is attempting to move up on the European Order of Merit, which will enable him to play more events in America.