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Australian Open: Some Amateurs to play in Marquee groups
Jordan Spieth <br>(Golfweek Photo)
Jordan Spieth
(Golfweek Photo)
ROSE BAY, Australia (November 15, 2016) -- Tournament director Trevor Herden has broken something of a tradition by putting Australia's world- beating amateurs into marquee groups for this week's Emirates Australian Open.

In announcing some of the big-name groups for the first and second rounds today, Herden said he had full confidence red-hot Australian youngsters Curtis Luck and Brett Coletta and Scotland's Australian Amateur champion Connor Syme would more than hold their own.

"I think it’s time," Herden said.

"In the past, they haven’t been too keen to put some of these amateur players with the leading players, but there seems to be a new wave of calmness with some of these new young amateur guys.

"I think they’re more ready than what they were say, five, six, seven years ago and we’ve got a good group of them, so I haven’t got any problems with that now.

"They’re playing more and more pro events, which they’re getting used to that mood and the feeling, playing with the top pros.

"They’re ready for it ... they’re all keen to play in these big groups."

Herden has placed Syme alongside dual Open winners Robert Allenby and Peter Lonard off the 10th tee on Thursday morning at 7 a.m.

Luck has been scheduled to play alongside world No.5 and 2015 Masters champion Jordan Spieth and another major winner in Geoff Ogilvy in the following group.

Coletta has been scheduled alongside recent US PGA Tour winner Rod Pampling and boom Queensland pro Cam Smith at midday off the first tee.

"I spoke to Curtis. Curtis was quite excited. He did an interview after the Asian Amateur and wanted to actually play with Jordan because he wanted to get in his head about Augusta," said Herden, who praised the youngsters' readiness for the big stage.

"They’re very well prepared now through Golf Australia’s high performance system and they’re ready to play.

"When they step out there now they’re very much a different group of people than what they were five, six, seven years ago; they’re ready."

Marquee Pairings:

Hole 10

7:00 a.m.-Robert Allenby, Peter Lonard, Connor Syme (a)
7:10 a.m.-Jordan Spieth, Geoff Ogilvy, Curtis Luck (a)
7:20 a.m.-Richard Green, Mathew Goggin, Greg Chalmers

Hole 1

12:00 p.m.-Rod Pampling, Cameron Smith, Brett Coletta (a)
12:10 p.m.-Adam Scott, Aaron Baddeley, Jhonattan Vegas
12:20 p.m.-John Senden, Peter Senior, Stephen Allan
ABOUT THE Australian Open

The Australian Open is Golf Australia's National Open Men's Championship, and is sanctioned by the Australian PGA Tour and forms part of the ONEASIA series of events. Many of Australia's top amateurs qualify for the event.

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