Brandt Snedeker won’t forget calling a penalty on himself at the 2007 Australian Open as he returns to play the event 18 years later. The memory of the American’s costly mistake in the final round hasn’t faded in the intervening period as he returns to The Australian Golf Club.
Snedeker lost by a shot to Craig Parry when he called a penalty on himself on the 14th hole of the final round because the ball moved as he tried to move some twigs around it. “It was a no-brainer penalty,” Snedeker said.
This week’s event takes place just down the road at The Lakes, where Snedeker will be joined by fellow Americans Matt Kuchar, who won last week’s PGA Tour event in Mexico, and Keegan Bradley.
But the absence of other top-quality Americans and Australia’s top players, Jason Day, whose wife is expecting a baby, and Adam Scott means the field is one of the weakest for the tournament in years.
Geoff Ogilvy, who won the Australian Open at The Lakes in 2010, was quoted as saying in Golf Australia magazine that sponsorship and prize money – where the 2018 winner scoops just $163,000 Australian dollars – are a factor in the tournament’s fall from grace.
“We are now playing the Australian Open for less money than when I turned professional two decades ago,” Ogilvy said. “It was a big tournament back then. Played towards the end of the northern hemisphere summer it was surrounded by a few other big events.
So players from elsewhere could bring their families and make the long trip worthwhile. It made sense.”