Sergio Garcia to play Australian Open

Former Masters champion Sergio Garcia is the latest golf star to join the field for the Australian Open in Sydney in December.

JASON DAY of Australia plays a shot from a bunker on the ninth hole during the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines South in San Diego, California.
JASON DAY of Australia plays a shot from a bunker on the ninth hole during the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines South in San Diego, California. Picture: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Spanish superstar Sergio Garcia has joined one of the strongest Australian Open fields in years.

The 2017 Masters champion along with Presidents Cup debutant CT Pan are the latest confirmed starters for the Open being staged at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney from December 5-8.

The pair join home favourites Jason Day, Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith, as well as four-time major champion Ernie Els, former British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen and in-form Englishman Paul Casey.

Garcia enjoyed his first win of the year at the Dutch Open on Sunday, remarkably his 35th win as a professional in all corners of the planet, including 10 times on the US PGA Tour.

The Ryder Cup hero, revered for his ball-striking prowess and flair, surged back up to No.32 in the world rankings after a win in his first appearance in the Netherlands tournament.

A firm crowd favourite down under where he has previously played the Australian PGA and Masters, Garcia will be making his Australian Open debut.

"I've always loved my visits to Australia and I know the Stonehaven Cup has a great history," he said.

"So I can't wait to get to Sydney and try to add my name to that trophy with such legends.

"I have always found Australian crowds to be enthusiastic and knowledgeable, so hopefully I can put on a show for them.

"And I'm really looking forward to having a look around Sydney while I'm down."

Pan, of Taiwan, first played the Australian Open as a 15-year-old amateur in 2006 when he missed the cut. He returned in 2015 and finished in a share of 21st in one of his first events as a professional.

His breakthrough win on the US PGA Tour came this year when he won the Heritage to ultimately ensure he would be among the top eight automatic qualifiers for the International team at the Presidents Cup.


AAP