The champ is here.
The 2018 Emirates Australian Open champion Abraham Ancer will defend his crown at The Australian Golf Club next month.
Ancer, who thrilled Sydney crowds last year in becoming the first Mexican winner of the Stonehaven Cup, used his victory to kick-start a charge into the world top 50 and, subsequently, his first Presidents Cup team.
“Sydney is such an important place for me with so many good memories from last year and the doors it helped open up,” said Ancer, who then went on to team with Roberto Diaz the following week as Mexico shared second at the Melbourne World Cup of Golf.
“I can’t wait to get back Down Under and play in front of the fans who were so supportive and to see if we can recreate a bit of that Stonehaven magic with such a great field coming to Sydney in December.”
That field – already stacked with such names as Scott, Day, Leishman, Smith, Oosthuizen, Garcia, Casey, Pan and Els among others already confirmed – will be further boosted with some other greats of global golf for the 5-8 December championship.
As captain Ernie Els assembles as many of his International squad as possible before the following week’s Presidents Cup, several of his assistants will join the chase for the 104th Australian Open.
Alongside former champion Geoff Ogilvy, the ever-popular K.J. Choi and former Masters hero Mike Weir will all cast an eye on their charges from within the powerhouse field.
RIGHT: Ancer won the Australian Open by five strokes at The Lakes last year. PHOTO: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images.
Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt was thrilled with all the additions, but particularly with Ancer’s signature.
“Abraham, like Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth before him, played some golf in Australia last year that not only opened our eyes to his immense talents, but also propelled him up the world golf ladder,” Pitt said.
“The shots he played in some testing conditions last year were next level – and that’s exactly where his world ranking has gone as a result.
“He was much loved by the crowd and interacted generously with them, so we can’t wait to have him back on our shores.
“Geoff has made no secret of his love for the Stonehaven Cup and has been one of our most ardent supporters over the years, so it’s good to have him back in the swing.
“But to have K.J. and Mike back alongside him is something I’m sure all fans who attend The Australian will really love … they’ve both achieved so much in the game.”
The Emirates Australian Open is supported by the NSW Government via its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.
The tournament, hosted by The Australian for a record 21st time, will be telecast exclusively live across the screens of Channel 7 and 7Plus from midday (AEDT) each day.
The Emirates Australian Open is a flagship tournament on the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia. The winner will receive a minimum of 32 Official World Golf Ranking points.
Tickets are now on sale. Visit www.ticketek.com and search “Open golf” to make sure you don’t miss seeing some of the world’s best golfers live in Sydney.