Cameron Smith, Adam Scott, Cam Davis, Min Woo Lee, defending champion Adrian Meronk and Ryder Cup success Robert MacIntyre are adding their star power to the 2023 ISPS HANDA Australian Open.
The roll call of feature players has been growing by the week for the storied tournament’s return to The Australian and The Lakes Golf Clubs in Sydney from November 30-December 3. The names of major champions sparkle on the Stonehaven Cup. Jordan Spieth (2014 and 2016), Rory McIlroy (2013), Geoff Ogilvy (2010) and Adam Scott (2009) have held the trophy aloft over the past 20 years.
Legends of the game like Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Arnold Palmer, Peter Thomson and Tom Watson have their names engraved for deeds in decades prior. None of those five greats of the past experienced the inclusive reach that the modern Australian Open has embraced with the wholehearted support of major backer ISPS HANDA.
The Women’s Australian Open and the Australian All-Abilities Championship will run concurrently at the two Sydney courses. Already, recent Australian major winners Minjee Lee and Hannah Green have committed to their national Open alongside rising stars Grace Kim, Gabi Ruffels and Steph Kyriacou. South Africa’s Ashleigh Buhai is returning to defend her crown as is England’s All-Abilities standardbearer Kipp Popert.
For 2022 Open champion Smith, an Australian Open victory is one of his most coveted goals. He lost to Jordan Spieth in a play-off for the 2016 Australian Open at Royal Sydney and hasn’t got that close again despite some excellent rounds.
“I haven’t won one of these yet so it’s been on my radar for a long time,” Smith says on repeat.
It is a missing piece on his CV because he’ll also be back at Royal Queensland (November 23-26) to defend the Fortinet Australia PGA title, an event he has won three times (2017-2018 and 2022).
ISPS HANDA ambassador Min Woo Lee is chasing a victory in one of Australia’s two premier tournaments to tick that quest. His tournament-record 30-under-par total to win the Macau Open in October shows how hot he can run when he harnesses his booming game off the tee with the rest of his repertoire. Rounds of 62-64-65-63 made for a phenomenal scoring week.
Last summer, he finished third at the Australian Open, after a fine 65-69 weekend, and joint fourth at the Australian PGA to get a taste of contending. Like Scott (No.45), Meronk (No.46), MacIntyre (No.54) and ISPS HANDA Championship Japan-winner Lucas Herbert (No.65), Lee (No.44) has a world ranking position he wants to improve or consolidate to lock in a spot in all four majors for 2024.
Golf Australian Chief Executive James Sutherland is certain Lee’s flair and personality connect to young fans.
“Min Woo is one of the most exciting golfers in the world. He’s a fantastic ambassador for our game who takes the game head-on which is an approach that resonates with his growing number of fans,” Sutherland said.
Scotland’s MacIntyre, Poland’s Meronk and American PGA Tour duo Patrick Rogers and Nick Hardy are amongst the band of overseas players spicing up the ISPS HANDA Australian Open.
“I’ve always loved Australia and have family there so I’m really looking forward to the fortnight playing in Brisbane and Sydney,” MacIntyre said.
“The Australian PGA and Australian Open are two tournaments with great history and I’d love to be up there in both.”