Strange leads Aussie assault on the Volvo China Open

4/24/2013 12:00:00 AM
Scott Strange defends his Volvo China Open title this week (Richard Castka/Sportpix International)  (EuropeanTour)
Scott Strange defends his Volvo China Open title this week (Richard Castka/Sportpix International) (EuropeanTour)

Adam Scott’s heroics at the Masters Tournament have given his fellow Australians fresh inspiration ahead of next week’s Volvo China Open.

Scott, a winner of nine European Tour titles, beat Argentinian Angel Cabrera on the second hole of the sudden-death play-off to become the first Australian to don the coveted Green Jacket, and the first player from ‘Down Under’ to win a Major since Geoff Ogilvy triumphed at the 2006 US Open Championship.

His compatriots Jason Day and Marc Leishman finished third and tied fourth respectively, capping an excellent week for Australians after something of a lean time on both The European and US PGA Tours.

Despite boasting 21 players with US PGA Tour rights – second only to the Americans themselves – Australia had just one winner in 2012, namely Leishman. Matt Zions was the last Australian winner of a regular European Tour event, the Najeti Hotels et Golfs Open in France in June 201, whilst Scott himself won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational two months later.

But next week’s Volvo China Open, which is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and OneAsia, will provide a stage for 14 Antipodeans to display their talents in the world’s most populous country in front of a live television audience of hundreds of millions.

Leading the charge will be another Scott – this time Scott Strange, the winner of the tournament in 2009.
Strange, who recently relocated to Perth, said: “Being based back home has actually been good for me – it suits me at this point.

“I am getting to spend a lot more time with my family, and the travel is not as brutal.”

The 36 year old has climbed more than 500 places up the Official World Golf Rankings since the start of the year, thanks chiefly to his runner-up finishes in last month’s Thailand Open and the New Zealand PGA Championship in March.

He is now knocking on the door of the top 300, having climbed as high as 89th place after winning the Volvo China Open in 2009.

Other European Tour Members from Australian competing in the tournament are Marcus Fraser, Scott Hend, Brett Rumford, Richard Green and Andrew Dodt.

The Volvo China Open will take place next week at Tianjin Binhai Lake Golf Club, in Tianjin.