2 Aug 2011

Can Lakes course cope with Tiger mania?

6:01 am on 2 August 2011

Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt is confident The Lakes layout in Sydney will cope with the 100,000 spectators expected to flock to see Tiger Woods and company in November.

Woods' inclusion in a quality Australian Open field also featuring crowd favourites Greg Norman and Fred Couples, fellow major winner Geoff Ogilvy, rising Australian star Jason Day and American drawcards Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson is sure to have The Lakes at capacity.

The course will be overflowing with some 25,000 fans on all four competition days from November 10th to 13th.

Pitt says entry this year would go up from $AU27.50 to $AU44, but predicted they'd be the hottest tickets in town.

Pitt says the hike was due to the overall quality of the field, but believed the rare chance to see Tiger Woods live - despite his fall from grace since his sex scandal was revealed - was priceless for golf fans.

The 14-times major champion hasn't played since that blazing Masters finish in April because of knee and Achilles injuries, but will return to competition next week at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio.

His layoff and 21-month winless streak since his 2009 Australian Masters triumph has led to the 35-year-old slipping out of the world's top 20 for the first time since 1996.

But Pitt says that won't discourage fans one bit.