Unfortunately, national opens can lose luster somewhat easily in golf.
The Canadian Open is still a decent PGA Tour event, but decades ago it was highly valued. Not a major, but important enough to be considered part of the Triple Crown (U.S. Open, British Open, Canadian Open).
Heck, the British Open went through a moribund period before Arnold Palmer showed up in 1960 and helped revitalize golf’s oldest championship.
Unfortunately, the Australian Open appears to be stuck in a bit of a rut. Tiger Woods has participated in the event and past winners include Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth.
But in this week’s edition, Scott, Jason Day and Marc Leishman are famous countrymen who have decided not to be a part of the field.
It signals the continuing issues the event has with getting the strong fields it used to. And fellow Aussie Geoff Ogilvy took notice, relaying his thoughts in a story he wrote for Golf Australia.
“I hate to say this, but the Australian Open feels like a second-rate tournament now,” Geoff Ogilvy said, per Golf Australia. “I’m sure it is run in the same way it was 30 years ago, but tournaments elsewhere have progressed so much, and the differences show.”
How can the tournament turn matters around?
It doesn’t seem there’s an easy solution.
“No one did anything wrong to create that part of this scenario. It’s just what has happened,” Ogilvy said. “But plenty of mistakes have also been made along the way.”
There are plenty of important tournaments in professional golf nowadays, but this is a reminder to not take exalted status for granted.
It can fall off quickly if you’re not careful.