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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 221
THE BEST WE’VE HAD? WHAT won’t be watered down is the quality of the field, which shapes as easily the best we’ve seen in Australia since the 2011 Presidents Cup. Certainly, it’s a class above the field that made the trip to Melbourne for the last World Cup in 2013, when there was only 12 of the world’s top 50 players in attendance. Even without Jason Day and Bubba Watson, this week there’ll be 17 of the top 50 battling it out in Melbourne’s south-east, headlined by Adam Scott. Undoubtedly the most exciting prospect is the chance to see Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama and Sweden’s Alex Noren, who are without question the form golfers in the world right now. Between them they’ve won eight tournaments this year, most of which have come in the last three months, and the only things that might hold them back this week are their partners Ryo Ishikawa and David Lingmerth, who while being solid players in their own right, simply aren’t in the same league at the moment. W ELCOME to Melbourne, world golfing elite. No, it’s not unusual for there to be blazing sunshine if you look out to the left-hand side of your plane, and a cataclysmic downpour if you quickly swivel your head to take in the view out the right. The city’s famously fickle climate has already been on full display this week, with torturous mid to high-30s temperatures on Sunday and Monday, followed by storms and conditions in the high teens late Monday and Tuesday. Helter-skelter weather patterns and a cooler than usual spring have blighted the lead-up to the World Cup of Golf, and Kingston Heath’s greenkeepers have admitted that – aesthetically at least – the famed sandbelt layout won’t be at its optimum. The lack of warmth has left some parts of the course a little patchy, however the greens have been the major beneficiaries, having not received the usual November baking that can make them about as easy to stop a ball as a patch of asphalt. Expect them still be firm and fast, but in a slightly (and literally) watered down guise. E
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GA Express 222