02 Nov 2023 | Professional golf | Australian Open | Men's Australian Open | Women's Australian Open |
Leishman, Hillier, Rodgers, Hardy join Summer of Golf
by Paul Munnings
A talented foursome of golfers including a 2023 DP World Tour winner, two US PGA TOUR winners and an American with a strong pedigree will be in the fields for the Aussie majors in the Summer of Golf. One of Australia’s most distinguished professionals from the past 20 years, Victoria’s Marc Leishman, and New Zealand’s Daniel Hillier, who triumphed at the British Masters this year, have locked in to play at both the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship at Royal Queensland (November 23-26) and the ISPS HANDA Australian Open at The Australian and The Lakes golf clubs on (November 30-December 3). Joining the field for the ISPS HANDA Australian Open will be American duo Patrick Rodgers and Nick Hardy, who will be playing in the event for the first time. Leishman, a six-time winner on the PGA TOUR and former world No.12, is coming off a strong year in LIV Golf where he had three top-10s, highlighted by a second in Chicago and third in London, to finish 18th in the end-of-season standings. Although he has contended regularly in both Aussie majors, the 40-year-old is still searching for his first ISPS HANDA Australian Open and Australian PGA title. Hillier has been enjoying a breakout year on the DP World Tour, claiming the biggest win of his career at the Betfred British Masters hosted by Sir Nick Faldo which saw his Official World Ranking improve from 265 to a career-best 136. He finished eagle-birdie-eagle-par at The Belfry to card a final round 66 and had to wait for an hour for confirmation of his victory after an early start. The two-time NZ Amateur champion has added in another three top-10 finishes to sit inside the top 30 on the 2022/23 Race to Dubai standings. A member of the PGA TOUR since 2015, Rodgers has had five top 10s on the PGA TOUR this year and narrowly missed out on the title at the Barracuda Championship where he lost a playoff to Aksay Bhatia. He has banked more than US$12 million in prizemoney and is currently No.86 on the Official World Golf Ranking. Hardy has had a great start to his PGA TOUR career. After turning professional in 2018, he qualified for the Tour in 2022 and captured the Zurich Classic of New Orleans teams event with fellow American Davis Riley in April this year. He is currently 52nd on the FedEx Cup standings. The new additions for the Summer of Golf on the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia join a star-studded list of starters that includes leading Australians Cam Smith, Cam Davis, Adam Scott, Min Woo Lee, Lucas Herbert and defending ISPS HANDA Australian Open champion Adrian Meronk, of Poland. Tickets and Premium Experiences for the ISPS HANDA Australian Open are on sale via Ticketek now.The ISPS HANDA Australian Open is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW and naming rights partner ISPS HANDA.
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