All eyes on Tiger Down Under

Golf: Australian Masters:


Woods, who was flustered by camera-happy fans at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai last week, will not be short of company at Melbourne's Kingston Heath course, where a crowd of 100,000 will witness his first appearance in Australia for eleven years.
Organisers have vowed to swoop on errant mobile phone and camera-users among the first-time golf-watchers in the crowd.

Little can be done about the weather, however, which has Melbourne in the grip of a record-breaking late spring heatwave that is forecast to bake Kingston Heath's already tricky greens into flint-hard frying pans over the weekend.

Players who battle through the heat to make the cut at the A$1.5 million ($1.4 million) event will be rewarded with temperatures expected to reach 35 degree Celsius day on Saturday, while Sunday is forecast to cool to a slightly more bearable 30.

With searing gusts likely to criss-cross the course's tight fairways and play havoc with club selection, Woods is looking to channel the links golf mastery that has delivered him three British Opens for a first tournament victory in Australia.

"The only difference here is it's hot as hell," the 14-time major champion told reporters.
"But it's similar, though, similar type of style. The ball definitely springs. The greens are much faster than they are for the Open championship. But it's the same type of golf."

Woods is no stranger to Melbourne's sandbelt golf courses, having edged Australian great Greg Norman one-up in a singles match during the United States' only losing campaign for the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne in 1998.

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