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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 220
16. AT THE dawn of a new millennium, amateur golfers were not supposed to win big pro tournaments. Well, someone forgot to tell Aaron Baddeley. In 1999, the 18-year-old ousted Greg Norman and Colin Montgomerie – two titans of the game – in a remarkable performance at Royal Sydney. Singing songs by “Taxiride” with his caddie Dion Kipping to keep calm as they strolled to victory, Baddeley signalled he was a name for the future with a fearless display. A year later, Baddeley turned professional three weeks before his title defence and promptly won our Open again. 17. STATISTICALLY, 72-hole golf tournaments require a playoff about one in four times. The Australian Open bucks that trend as it has seen extra holes only six times since 1904. The most recent came in 2008 at Royal Sydney, where nuggetty South African Tim Clark found himself in a sudden-death playoff with Mathew Goggin and looked to be in trouble when his approach to the first extra hole found a bunker. But Clark splashed out and saved par only to see victory handed to him when Goggin missed a short par putt to expire suddenly in sudden death. 18. ADAM Scott’s opening-round scorecard from the 2013 Australian Open at Royal Sydney made it look like he had carded an astonishing 10 birdies in a row. While he did record 10 birdies for the day in a course-record 62, his 10th-tee starting position lets us know it was actually six birdies consecutively to start and a further four in a row to finish – still mighty impressive stuff. The first Australian to ever win golf’s green jacket at the Masters in Augusta came home seven months later and won the Australian PGA and Masters, needing the Open to join Robert Allenby as the only winners of Australian golf’s ‘Triple Crown’. Alas, Scott stalled on Sunday and Irish wonder Rory McIlroy ended an otherwise fruitless season with a winning final-hole birdie – to Scott’s closing bogey – for a one-stroke victory.
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GA Express 221