World golf’s new sensation Jordan Spieth has confirmed he will defend his Emirates Australia Open title.
As tickets go on sale around the country today for the November event in Sydney, 21-year-old Spieth, winner of both the Masters tournament and the US Open in 2015, has committed to the Australian Open at The Australian GC from 26-29 November.
The Texan superstar fell just short of winning a third consecutive major in the Open Championship at St Andrews overnight, finishing just one shot out of a playoff. Had he managed a third major in a row, he would have joined the late, great Ben Hogan and set off for an unprecedented Grand Slam of professional majors.
But now, he will focus on the remainder of the season and the Emirates Australian Open.
Spieth, 21, played arguably the greatest round in the Australian Open’s storied history last November to win the Stonehaven Cup by six shots.
And with the Open returning to The Australian Golf Club in Sydney for a record 19th time from November 26-29, the American is hoping he can emulate his eight-under-par round of 63 that sent the golfing world into a frenzy.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to return to Sydney,” said Spieth, who parlayed his Australian success into a string of great results, including his record-breaking run to win the green jacket at The Masters in April.
“I had a fantastic time in Australia. I can’t wait to come back and hopefully defend the Stonehaven Cup.”
Spieth was ranked 11th in the world when he hoisted the Stonehaven Cup, but after winning the Emirates Australian Open, The Hero World Challenge, The Valspar Championship and The Masters, he reached No.2. His victory in the US Open at Chambers Bay in Washington recently has him within touching distance of the world No. 1, Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland
He is just the sixth player in history to hold both the Masters and US Open titles at one time, and just the second – behind the immortal Jack Nicklaus – to hold the Masters, US Open and Australian Open titles at one point. Nicklaus achieved this in 1972 after he won the Australian Open at Royal Hobart in 1971.
Spieth is in remarkable company. “It has been an amazing six months since I left Australia,” he said. “Shooting 63 in the final round and winning at The Australian Golf Club was one of the proudest moments of my career. To see my name on the Stonehaven Cup alongside all the champions of the game gave me great confidence.”
Spieth also was runner-up at both the Valero Texas Open and Shell Houston Open and fourth at the Northern Trust Open in Los Angeles.
Emirates Australian Open tournament director Trevor Herden was delighted with Spieth’s signature.
“Jordan was a massive hit at The Australian last year – nobody who saw him play will forget his final round, in particular,” Herden said.
“But more than just play good golf, Jordan has been a tremendous ambassador for the tournament and has sung its praises in some pretty lofty places since he left, including at Augusta after he won The Masters.
“It’s a great honour to have another major champion in our field – we can’t wait to see Jordan again.”
New South Wales Premier Mike Baird said the global attention Spieth would bring was a boon for Sydney and New South Wales.
“We saw how much people gravitated towards Jordan last year and that he spoke so glowingly of his time in our state was a ringing endorsement of all we have to offer,” Mr Baird said.
“We are very keen to welcome Jordan back again in November and hope we can show him another few dazzling jewels of Sydney so he continues to spread the word on our behalf.”
The Emirates Australian Open is a flagship tournament on the PGA Tour of Australasia. The winner will receive a minimum of 32 Official World Golf Ranking points.
The event will be telecast for all four days on Channel 7.
Tickets are on sale now from Ticketek at www.ticketek.com or by calling 132 849.