McIlroy, Scott to be kept apart in Australian Open early rounds

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SYDNEY: The highly anticipated pairing of the world’s top-ranked golfers Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott will not happen in the early rounds of next week’s Australian Open, officials said Friday.

Ever since world number two Scott raised the prospect of a direct shootout with the top-ranked McIlroy, there has been keen interest in whether the two rivals would be paired in the opening rounds at Sydney’s The Australian course.

While Golf Australia championship director Trevor Herden admitted he would love to make it work, he said there were several reasons why the two, who thrilled record crowds at last year’s Australian Open, will not pair up until at least the Saturday (Nov 29) of the tournament.

“It’s very tempting, but there are several considerations when pairing the strongest world-class players in the Australian Open field,” Herden said in a statement.


“And it’s for the exact reasons that the Masters, US and British Opens and the US PGA separated these two guys this season.

“Just like all the major championships do, we will spread out the super stars across the draw to ensure as many people as possible see them.”

Scott missed a chance for a perfect end to 2013 when he bogeyed the final hole of last year’s Australian Open at Royal Sydney, with the Northern Irishman holing a giant birdie putt to win.

“I’ve still got a thorn in my side about the Australian Open last year,” said Scott, who is chasing a third straight Australian Masters in Melbourne this week.

“So next week it will be fun to have another crack at that.

“I’ll hopefully be in great form next week and have to deal with Rory and (American) Jordan Spieth and all the other guys.”

The draw for the opening round of the Australian Open at The Australian course in Sydney will be finalised on Tuesday.

AFP

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