If Australian golf fans had to watch a major championship slip through our fingers, there would be few more popular players in world golf to take our place on the top of the podium than Ernie Els. Now a four-time major champion following his triumph in The Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes in the early hours of Monday morning in Australia, Els posted a four-round total of 7-under par, a mark Adam Scott fell agonisingly short of.
Long-time members will often boast that they know every blade of grass on their home course but there are few people in Australia who this applies to more literally than Idris Evans. Idris has been working on the course maintenance staff at Western Australian Golf Club in Perth for the past 25 years, the last 13 of which have been as the course superintendent. His intimate knowledge of the layout – not to mention a handicap of 4 at the start of the Golf Link Cup – has enabled Idris to work his way into the top 10 of the 31,000-plus golfer leaderboard.
There can be now no question that the Golf Link Cup boasts the largest leaderboard in world golf but for the next 14 hours it may run a close second in excitement for Australian golf fans as Adam Scott sits poised for a maiden major championship title. Scott tees off in the final group of the day at 11.30pm Australian Eastern Standard time tonight with a four-stroke buffer as the 54-hole leader of The Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
Very few women welcome the news that their husbands have planned a surfing trip to the Maldives and will be gone for a couple of weeks, but Belinda Metham saw it as an opportunity. Coinciding with the start of the Golf Link Cup, Bruce’s surf trip was the perfect excuse for Belinda to get out and spend plenty of time on the fairways at Cronulla Golf Club. Belinda jumped to third on the overall leaderboard and was the leading female golfer by a massive 16,402 points after posting 34 Stableford points on Wednesday to take her tally to 66,423 Golf Link Cup points, thanks largely to the five games she was able to play in the space of eight days.
Australia’s most recent US PGA Tour winner Marc Leishman shapes as a handy addition to the list of Australian talent looking to add their names to the Auld Claret Jug when the British Open tees off at Royal Lytham & St Annes on Thursday afternoon Australian eastern standard time. Australian golf fans will need access to Foxtel to enjoy all the drama of the year’s third major with coverage beginning at 6pm on Thursday and Friday night on Fox Sports 3, 7pm on Saturday night and 8pm on Sunday night through until the thrilling conclusion in the early hours of Monday morning.
The onset of July is normally a difficult time for Australian golf clubs. Fairways are often soggy from a rain-soaked month of June, there are fewer tee times available on a Saturday and golfers are playing less golf. And to top it off, the annual subscription fees turn up in the mail, giving members cause to consider their golf commitment at the time of the year when they are playing their least amount of golf.
When the Golf Link Cup got underway on Tuesday there may have been quite a few of the almost 30,000 registered participants who wondered whether they’d complete the six rounds they need to qualify for the major prizes. At the rate Hayden McKay is going, he’ll be eligible for the $80,000 Lexus GS 250 Luxury sedan by the end of the weekend!
Of the 29,000-plus golfers to have already registered to play in the Golf Link Cup, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who got off to a better start than Sydney’s Russell McCarthy. A 14-handicapper at Wakehurst Golf Club on Sydney’s north shore, Russell headed out for a hit with the Sydney Vets group on the opening day of the Golf Link Cup and proceeded to have 42 points on one of the country’s finest – and toughest – golf courses.