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Getting In The Mood: The Australian Open At The Lakes

Hard to believe it was only a year ago that the golf world was focused on The Lakes. The Emirates Australian Open returns to the super-cool Mike Clayton-renovated course with plenty of intrigue though not nearly as stellar a field as 2011. That's mostly because the Presidents Cup hasn't lured some big name Americans Down Under.

Tiger tees off on the 12th in 2011. (Click image to enlarge)Sadly, Rory and Ernie's appearance fee prices jumped after winning majors, reports Rohan Clarke. Otherwise they had been looking at playing.

Still, the combination of solid headliners (Adam Scott, Geoff Oglivy, Tom Watson, Justin Rose, John Senden and defender Greg Chalmers) on an outstanding course is enough to make it worth turning on. Throw in Australia's (more) enjoyable telecasts, a tournament played in arguably the world's most beautiful city, and it should all add up to worthwhile viewing.

Amazing that it was just a year ago that the week kicked off with Stevie and Tiger tension after the wretched bag toter had told an assembled audience that he wanted to shove Adam Scott’s victory at the Bridgestone Invitational “up (Woods’) black $%^&$*@.”

Ahh...those were the good ole days of fall golf blogging!Now it's just fools tampering with the Old Course and putter bans.

There was also John Daly's 11th hole blow up. Shockingly, he is not in the field this year.

I also really enjoyed the entire atmosphere of the event, including this local vendors area where there was a hickory club maker/repairer.

The par-3 18th.Here was my front nine course gallery. And part of the back nine.

The tournament also has a content-rich website, with contributions from Martin Blake, Bruce Young, John Huggan, Nick Cullen and Mike Clayton.

Clayton looks at the Australian Open's place in golf history and says it was a "myth" that this was a fifth major. Yet it does have an amazing roster of winners and Clayton explains why.

Golf Channel's telecast times in the US, all ET:

Wednesday 8 p.m.-1 a.m. (Live) / 1-3:30 p.m. (Thursday Replay)

Thursday 8 p.m.-1 a.m. (Live)

Friday 8 p.m.-1 a.m. (Live) / 1-3:30 p.m. (Saturday replay)

Saturday 8 p.m.-1 a.m. (Live) / 1-6 p.m. (Sunday replay)

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Reader Comments (14)

Congrats to Mike Clayton and Mike Cocking for providing a fitting venue!
12.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterTommy Naccarato
I have no issues with the new Lakes layout but I have spoken to Pros out there who all preferred the old layout far more than the today's layout. The 14th par 5 really needs a strong headwind or the Pros can hit driver short iron onto that green and the 15th green is awful. I believe they have acknowledgedt the 15th needs to be redesigned

It is a great facility for practice with the chipping green, two putting greens and the clubhouse overlooking the whole practice area and the 1st,10th 9th and 18th greens and tees.
12.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSimon
I just had to search to find out which Majors Rory and Ernie actually won in 2012.

With Tiger's decline, I've moved way farther from the professional game. Can't say I would have ever imagined that when I started paying attention to golf in 1996......It's amazing how much I knew about these other guys just from following Tiger's results week to week.
12.5.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdsl
The Lakes ... one day
12.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPHK
If the pros liked the old one, then that confirms the improvements! Other than about 10 players, not the best judges of architecture. After all, Mike makes them think now. Everything I saw there I thought was fantastic.
12.5.2012 | Registered CommenterGeoff
Speaking of the Caddie Chronicles as related to 2012:

Tiger -- 19 events -- $6.13 million in earnings, 3 wins

Dustin Johnson -- 19 events -- $3.39 million in earnings, 1 win.

Adam Scott -- 16 events -- $2.90 million of earnings, 0 wins.

Looks like Joe LaCava did OK.
12.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
I have played The Lakes many times during the past 2yrs and Pros and the members will tell you that if the greens werent so undulated and difficult the Pros would shoot very low scores around there. Obviously when the wind is really strong the layout and greens wouldnt matter at all.

As I said earlier I have no issues with the course at all and as a club Golfer it certainly tests me, especially that long uphill 12th. Managed a par there last time but something went wrong as I never par that hole. The most difficult hole at The Lakes for me is the 16th. The landiong area for the tee shot to the left of the lake is like a very narrow landing strip with water on both sides. Once you manage that tee shot it is a long hit over water and if you are long or left its water again. From memory I think Jack Newton had a go at re-designing some or all of the holes at The Lakes some years ago ? Would like to know the thoughts of the US President Cup Players when they played last year, wonder what they thought of the Lakes layout, that would be interesting
12.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSimon
Guan Tianlang shot in the 80's at the Lakes today.

What's he going to shoot at ANGC? Isn't there a "Mercy Rule"? Or is that just the LPGA?
12.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRob
Also, after flying the 11th green, an open mike caught Allenby saying "This is certainly at the top of the list of the worst courses I have ever played."
12.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRob
Somehow I don't think winning standard run-of-the-mill PGA tour events is high on Lacava's list.

And, he's rich enough. If there aren't any major victories while is carrying the bag, he's basically wasting his time.
12.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterStevie's Arse
SA, the alternative was Dustin's bag and LaCava was roundly criticized for the choice he made.
12.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Rob, Allenbys remark does not surprise me. After chatting with various Pros they all have the same opinion and one even mentioned his chat with a formr world No 1 who also told him he hated the new design. I would really like to know exactly what it is they dislike about the Course, I think it could be the tricked up greens with elephants buried in them to protect the scoring on the course.
12.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSimon
What happened to the rest of the posts ? Why can we not see them ?
12.8.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSimon
Any reason that the posts where we were able to ask Mr Clayton questions have all disappeared as some of those posts were questions from myself. ???
12.9.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSimon

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