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Australian Open: Home-grown winner best bet in spite of Tiger

| 10.11.2011

Tiger Woods may be the man getting all the headlines in the build-up to the Australian Open, but it’s the natives who look set to eat up the column inches come Sunday evening.

The Australians have dominated the competition and, in the previous 20 years, only three players from outside the country have triumphed.

American Brad Faxon won in 1993, Lee Westwood became the first and, so far, only European winner in 1997, while South African Tim Clark won in 2008.

It will take another special effort from a non-Australian this year, with the Aussies ruling the roost over the odds.

Adam Scott is favourite at 8/1 to win the tournament for a second time, while compatriot Jason Day is joint second favourite with Woods at 10/1.

Woods may be the shortest priced player from outside of Australia but there are threats from elsewhere in the field.

American Hunter Mahan is 14/1 while the 16/1 offered for World No.5 Dustin Johnson looks an incredibly tempting each-way bet – especially as the US Ryder Cup star won the Barclay’s back in August and has a further trio of top three finishes this season.

With The Lakes course benefitting the longer hitters in the field, Johnson shouldn’t be discounted.

However, it’s hard to look too far beyond the Australian duo of Scott and Day, with Scott justifying his position as favourite after a brilliant couple of months that has seen him climb to eight in the world rankings and win the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

If you’re feeling adventurous though, you could back Greg Norman at 100/1.

the Australian certainly has the best record in the field, winning the tournament five times between 1980 and 1996.



Richard Anderson