09 Feb 2023 | Professional golf |
Aussies on Tour: Green to make Champions Tour debut
by Australian Golf Media
By Tony Webeck
It’s the tour he’s had his eye on for more than two years but Richard Green probably didn’t expect to make his Champions Tour debut in Morocco.
The exotic locale in North Africa hosts not only the Champions Tour’s second event of the year this week but also the Ladies European Tour’s Lalla Meryem Cup will be played on the Blue Course at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam.
A long-time member of the DP World Tour, Green is no stranger to playing in foreign countries and will have the familiar face of countryman Rod Pampling for the first two rounds to assist in his transition to the US senior ranks.
Medalist at qualifying school in December and 10 days out from his 52nd birthday, Green told PGATOUR.com’s Bob McLellan that it marks the realisation of a career-long dream.
“Throughout my whole career on the European Tour my goals in my life were always to come and play in the US at some point,” said Green, who at his peak was ranked as high as 29th in the world.
“I had opportunities through the mid-2000s through having a top 50 world ranking and playing eligible events through that criteria but never got a PGA TOUR card. I left that goal on the table if you like.
“Wanting to fulfill that goal, the opportunity when I turned 50 presented itself to come play on PGA TOUR Champions.
“I was full steam ahead for that. I think that drive to get that position is what helped me be successful in the qualifying.”
Of the past 10 medalists at PGA TOUR Champions Q-School, four have gone on to win on the Champions Tour. Green is looking forward to testing his game against the best competition the world has to offer.
“I don’t relate to the guys on the PGA TOUR or European Tour anymore,” said Green, who won the 1997 Dubai Desert Classic in a playoff over Greg Norman and Ian Woosnam.
“I relate to the guys on the Champions Tour. Over the course of my career, I was playing against some of the guys, like Padraig Harrington, or when I played in the majors in the US against all the guys on the Champions Tour now.
“For me, I’m playing with the best in the world. To be in contention with all of these guys and compete on the same level, it’s going to be a real test. I’ll get a lot out of performing well in that arena.”
It is another jam-packed week for Aussies abroad with 12 to contest the Asian Tour’s International Series Oman and Anthony Quayle, Aaron Pike, Louis Dobbelaar and Dimi Papadatos taking the opportunity to join Blake Windred at the Singapore Classic on the DP World Tour.
On the back of consecutive top-three finishes in Dubai and Saudi Arabia Lucas Herbert returns to the PGA TOUR for the first time in 2023 to tee it up at the $US20 million WM Phoenix Open.
It is the 27-year-old’s second visit to TPC Scottsdale having missed the cut last year.
Round 1 tee times AEDT
Asian Tour International Series Oman Al Mouj Golf, Oman 2.10pm* Wade Ormsby, Ian Snyman, Steve Lewton 2.20pm* Marcus Fraser, Scott Hend, Hideto Tanihara 3.10pm Terry Pilkadaris, Prom Meesawat, Shiv Kapur 3.20pm* Zach Murray, Faisal Salhab, Taehee Lee 3.30pm* Ben Campbell (NZ), Hung Chien-yao, SSP Chawrasia 6.30pm* Kevin Yuan, Veer Ahlawat, Poom Saksansin 6.40pm Jediah Morgan, Pavit Tangkamolprasert, James Piot 7pm* Todd Sinnott, Ajeetesh Sandhu, Rattanon Wannasrichan 7.10pm Travis Smyth, Nitithorn Thippong, Kazuki Higa 7.10pm* Andrew Dodt, Jarin Todd, Takumi Kanaya 7.30pm Matt Jones, Sihwan Kim, Charl Schwartzel 8pm* Jack Thompson, Issa Abouelela, Saud Alsharif
Defending champion: Inaugural event Past Aussie winners: Nil TV times: Live 8.30pm-12.30am Thursday, Friday; Live 7pm-11pm Saturday, Sunday on Fox Sports 503 and Kayo Sports.
DP World Tour Singapore Classic Laguna National Golf Resort Club, Singapore 11.15am Louis Dobbelaar, Mikko Korhonen, Justin Walters 11.35am Anthony Quayle, Jeunghun Wang, James Morrison 12.15pm Aaron Pike, Albert Venter, Gary Stal 11.40am* Ryan Fox (NZ), Haotong Li, Robert MacIntyre 3.15pm Daniel Hillier (NZ), Zander Lombard, Rikuya Hoshino 4.55pm Dimitrios Papadatos, Amarin Kraivixien, Alexander Levy 5pm* Blake Windred, Santiago Tarrio, Chase Hanna
Defending champion: Inaugural event Past Aussie winners: Nil TV times: Live 4.30pm-9.30pm Thursday, Friday; Live 4pm-8.30pm Saturday, Sunday on Fox Sports 505 and Kayo Sports.
PGA TOUR WM Phoenix Open TPC Scottsdale, Scottsdale, Arizona 2.32am Lucas Herbert, Lucas Glover, Gary Woodland 7.17am Jason Day, Billy Horschel, Michael Thompson 7.28am Danny Lee (NZ), Dylan Frittelli, Andrew Putnam Defending champion: Scottie Scheffler Past Aussie winners: Bruce Crampton (1973), Aaron Baddeley (2007) TV times: Live 3am-11.30am Friday, Saturday; Live 5am-10.30am Sunday; Live 5am-10am Monday on Fox Sports 503.
Ladies European Tour Lalla Meryem Cup Royal Golf Dar Es Salam (Blue Cse), Rabat, Morocco 10.05am Gabriela Ruffels, Fatima Gonzalez Carriles, Charlotte Liautier 11.05pm Whitney Hillier, Morgane Metraux, Leonie Harm 12.05am Momoka Kobori (NZ), Sara Brentchenef, Sophie Witt
Defending champion: Nuria Iturrioz (2019) Past Aussie winners: Karen Lunn (2012)
Korn Ferry Tour Astara Golf Championship Country Club de Bogota, Bogota, Colombia 12.05am* Brett Drewitt, Rhein Gibson, Andrew Yun 12.15am Curtis Luck, Joey Garber, Tom Whitney
Defending champion: Brandon Matthews Past Aussie winners: Nil
Champions Tour Trophy Hassan II Royal Golf Dar Es Salam, Rabat, Morocco 9.36pm Richard Green, Rod Pampling, Billy Andrade 10.09pm* John Senden, Wes Short Jr, Billy Mayfair 10.20pm* Robert Allenby, Duffy Waldorf, Tim Herron 10.42pm* David McKenzie, Rob Labritz, Timothy O’Neal 10.53pm* Mark Hensby, Scott Dunlap, Paul Stankowski
Defending champion: Brett Quigley (2020) Past Aussie winners: Nil TV times: Live 12am-3am Friday, Saturday on Fox Sports 505; Live 12am-3am Sunday on Fox Sports 503.
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