Australia’s Summer of Golf is set to benefit from another world-class star, as World number 5 Justin Rose has confirmed he will play in the Emirates Australian Open at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney from December 6-9.
Rose won the WGC-Cadillac Championship in March and capped an exceptional year with a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship presented by Coca-Cola before playing a key role in Team Europe’s heroic Ryder Cup victory.
The 32 year-old — who won the Australian Masters in 2006 at Huntingdale — said he was excited about returning to Australia.
“I’m looking forward to coming to Sydney for my first trip back to Australia in a few years and I’ve always enjoyed it,” Rose said.
“This will be my Australian Open debut and the tournament has a history of wonderful champions and I hope I can add my name to that list in December.”
Golf Australia CEO Stephen Pitt said Rose would bring added excitement to the Open.
“Justin has had a fantastic year on Tour, rising to World Number 5 and playing a key role in Team Europe’s thrilling win at the Ryder Cup. We look to forward to welcoming him to Sydney as he seeks to join the Open’s exceptional honour roll,” Pitt said.
“The field for the Open is shaping up very nicely and the fans are in for some world class golf in Sydney.”
Rose will join 8-time Major champion Tom Watson, World Number 6 Adam Scott, defending champion Greg Chalmers and former US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy among the headline names in Sydney.
The NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events, George Souris, said: “The NSW Government welcomes the news that Justin Rose is participating in the Emirates Australian Open in Sydney. The NSW Government, through Destination NSW, has entered a strategic partnership with Golf Australia to stage the Open in Sydney until 2015. We are committed to our long term vision of seeing the tournament become the premier event of its kind in the Asia Pacific region.”
Rose’s commitment is another boost for the championship following this week’s confirmation that the Seven Network will be the host broadcaster for the tournament.
Seven will be broadcasting all four days of the event (12pm to 5pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time), bringing a sigh of relief to golf fans across Australia who had been hoping for our national tournament to be shown on Free-to-Air.
Seven Head of Sport Saul Shtein said: “Seven has a long and proud tradition of broadcasting golf and live sport. We look forward to once again showcasing the cream of Australian and international golf.”
Golf Australia CEO Stephen Pitt said he was delighted that fans will be able to follow all the action from The Lakes.
“We’re looking forward to an exciting Emirates Australian Open which will be broadcast into millions of homes across Australia on the Seven Network,” Pitt said.
“The Emirates Australian Open holds a special place in the hearts of both Australian golfers and sports fans and we’re very pleased that the Seven Network supports our passion to showcase the best of international golf across the country.”
Brian Thorburn, CEO of the PGA of Australia said: “This announcement is a great result for Australian sports fans. The 2011 Emirates Australian Open was watched by a significant domestic and international television audience, and we look forward to working with Channel Seven to grow the tournament in 2012 and beyond.”
“This is a wonderful development for the Emirates Australian Open as Seven Network boasts an outstanding television platform that will relay all the action to a huge audience,” said David White, Managing Director – Australia, World Sports Group.