Local stalwarts Greg Chalmers and Robert Allenby have backed the Australian Open to be a sporting success despite the absence of big guns Jason Day, Adam Scott and Marc Leishman.
The trio, who are among the four highest-ranked Australians in the world, will not tee up this week at The Lakes for various reasons.
It will be the first Open since 2008 without at least one of former World No.1s Day and Scott, while regular American visitor Jordan Spieth pulled the pin from the event he has won twice in four years.
Day and Leishman declined to contest the Stonehaven Cup for family reasons, while Scott is skipping the Australian summer events for just the second time in 18 years.
Two-time Open champion Allenby empathises with the trio, having lived in the US while playing on the PGA Tour for more than two decades.
"Perspectives change when you have a family," Allenby told AAP.
"Leishman, Jason Day and Adam Scott all have young families and sometimes you get to a point of the year when you don't want to travel.
"Would it be great to have our top players? Sure, but I understand it.
RIGHT: Day and Scott will both miss the Australian Open at The Lakes. PHOTO: Streeter Lecker/Getty Images.
"Plus, the opportunity to make a lot of money overseas is greater now than it's ever been.
"I wish the Australian Open purse was a little bit higher than it is because it used to be (high)."
Chalmers believes PGA Tour players Cameron Smith – the highest-ranked Australian in the field – and 23-year-old defending Open champion Cameron Davis will wow Sydney fans.
"Any time you don't have those calibre players (such as Day) in the field, it's a chance for someone else," said Chalmers, a dual Open champion who won the 2011 edition at The Lakes.
"Personally, I'd like to see (Smith and Davis) handle that opportunity.
"Aside from myself (winning), that is the outcome I'm rooting for."
Chalmers says the Open field still has plenty of drawcards in recent PGA Tour winners Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker and Keegan Bradley.
"I think Golf Australia has done a great job of getting some American stars and international players," he said.
- Evin Priest, Australian Associated Press