AUSTRALIAN OPEN HISTORY
The Australian Open dates back to 1904 when English amateur Michael Scott saluted by eight strokes and has since seen many magnificent winners including Australian greats Ivo Whitton, Norman Von Nida, Peter Thomson, Kel Nagle, Greg Norman, Steve Elkington, Greg Chalmers and Adam Scott lift the Stonehaven Cup.
International icons Gene Sarazen, Gary Player, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth have all been champions in an event once revered as being very close to a major.
After an extraordinary field turned up for the Australian PGA Championship we have another magnificent field for the Australian Open. Australian PGA Championship winner Min Woo Lee and former Open Champion Cameron Smith head betting with fellow local stars Cam Davis, Adam Scott, Marc Leishman, Lucas Herbert and Matt Jones all playing.
They will be joined by LIV star Joaquin Niemann, defending champion Adrian Meronk, Ryder Cup hero Robert MacIntyre and a host of DP World Tour stars along with a smattering of PGA Tour players.
COURSE ANALYSIS AND WEATHER
The Australian Open will be played across two courses for the second time – with the women’s Australian Open being staged at the same time – with The Australian hosting three rounds and The Lakes hosting one. The Australian has hosted more Australian Opens than any other course with this being the 22nd staging at the iconic venue.
The Australian Open has been held four times at The Australian in the last decade with Matt Jones winning twice and Cameron Davis and Jordan Spieth once apiece. The Lakes most recently staged the Australian Open in 2018 and was won by Abraham Ancer.
Weather: Significant storms are forecast on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday with heavy winds to boot. Such is the rain forecast that it would not surprise if we had a Monday finish or a truncated tournament.
Winner – Matt Jones (at $15 or Better)
Matt Jones grew up learning the game at The Australian and it has shown whenever the Australian Open has been played there with his last three resulting in two wins and a one-shot runner-up. His form has been underwhelming on LIV this year but he still ranks eighth in putting and his course knowledge is unparalleled.
Winner – Adrian Meronk (at $15 or Better)
The defending champion has had a brilliant season with two more wins after his Australian Open triumph. Form off the tee is critical at The Australian and Meronk leads the DP World Tour in Strokes Gained: Off The Tee.
Top 5 – Patrick Rodgers (at $6 or Better)
PGA Tour veteran who has been plying his trade on the biggest tour in the world for a decade. Yet to break through but has a nice cut rate and has contended. Not enjoyed the best season but at his best is an elite putter who can use the flat stick to push him into the mix here.
Top 10 – Aaron Baddeley (at $3.50 or Better)
Aaron Baddeley is a two-time winner of the Australian Open and while they came over two decades ago, he has enjoyed a semi-renaissance on the PGA Tour of late. He has had three Top 10s and has two Top 21 finishes in his last five starts. Ranks Top 31 in Strokes Gained: Putting and Around The Green and that will serve him well.
Top 20 – John Catlin (at $4.50 or Better)
American playing his trade on the DP World Tour. Short from the tee but that is no drama here. Made three straight cuts and the three-time DP World Tour is starting to rediscover his best form.
Top Asian Player – Ryo Hisatsune (at $2.20 or Better)
Quality player who won the Open de France in September before four straight Top 21 finishes including a T-13 last week at Royal Queensland. He is significantly more talented than his five competitors in this market and should collect.
Tournament Match Bet – Joaquin Niemann v Marc Leishman (at $1.65 or Better)
Both Niemann and Leishman enjoyed strong weeks at Royal Queensland but Niemann certainly has more upside than old-timer Leishman. Niemann beat Leishman home in seven of the final nine LIV tournaments for the season.