Spieth confirmed for Australian Open title defence
GOLF: Two-time Australian Open champ and world No.3 Jordan Spieth is coming back to defend his Australian Open title.
Spieth, coming off his 10th career US PGA Tour victory, is the first big name to commit to what looms as an impressive field for the national championship.
Jason Day is also expected to tee up in the event to be played at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney from November 23 after announcing he will be coming home this summer for the first time since 2013.
Spieth won the Australian Open at The Australian in 2014 with a stellar 63 on the final day, and narrowly missed a playoff at the same venue in 2015 when he finished tied second with Adam Scott, a shot behind Matt Jones.
But he lifted the Stonehaven Cup again at Royal Sydney last November when he triumphed in a thrilling playoff against Ash Hall and Cam Smith.
Seeking his third Australian title at a venue that he readily acknowledges helped propel him all the way to two major championships in 2015, including the Masters and the world No.1 ranking, Spieth is eager to return.
"I have really enjoyed my visits to Sydney and can't wait to get back in November," Spieth said.
"I look back at the win in 2014 at The Australian, which is a great memory, and it definitely helped build momentum for a successful 2015.
"After coming so close again in 2015, it was great to get the Stonehaven Cup back last year."
"The Emirates Australian Open seems to grow in stature among the world's players every year and I really enjoy playing in front of the enthusiastic galleries in Sydney. It should be a great test again. I can't wait."
Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt welcomed the news.
"Jordan is one of the greatest players in today's game and has proven to be exceptionally popular with audiences in Australia and around the globe," Pitt said.
"He has been a great champion and ambassador of the Emirates Australian Open and, if you think back to his late charge in 2015, he could easily be playing for his fourth title in a row."