By Golf Australia governing body
The Emirates Australian Open is set for a scintillating Sunday afternoon showdown as the players hit the course at Royal Sydney in gorgeous sunshine.
The overnight leader, Victorian Geoff Ogilvy, tees off with his closest rival Aaron Baddeley at 12.40pm today, trying to augment the Open title that he won at The Lakes in 2010, after a lull in his career that has seen him dip outside the top 200 players in the world.
A Baddeley win would be even more of fairytale, since it is 17 years since the Melburnian won the Open as a teenaged amateur, at this very venue.
Playing in the second-last group at 12.34, Jordan Spieth of the United States and Ryan Fox of New Zealand represent the international challenge. They are just two shots back from Ogilvy’s 11-under par, with Fox hoping to become the first Kiwi to win the Australian Open.
Nine players, including world No. 7 Adam Scott, are within four shots of Ogilvy in what has set up a brilliant finish to the 101st Open.
A side issue to the main event is the race for places in the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale next year. The top three finishers who have not already qualified — as things stand, Ogilvy, Baddeley and Fox are in position — will automatically qualify to play at Birkdale.
Only slight winds are forecast on a perfect day for the conclusion of the nation’s most prestigious tournament, with 22-degree temperatures and the likelihood of low scoring.
Among those to make an early impact today was local amateur Harrison Endycott, who picked up three shots on the front nine. Veterans Richard Green and Craig Parry also are on the course.