Am­brose coy over V8s fu­ture

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT -

IF the Wal­la­bies are to build their fu­ture around lock Will Skel­ton they could not have cho­sen a stur­dier foun­da­tion. At 145kg he is near im­pos­si­ble to shift and his grow­ing size 17 feet sug­gest there is even more de­vel­op­ment to come from the ris­ing star who is set to power Aus­tralia’s pack on Satur­day and into the World Cup. Skel­ton is ex­pected to part­ner the man he calls the “li­ne­out master”, Rob Sim­mons, in the sec­ond row against South Africa at Sun­corp Sta­dium, a com­bi­na­tion that could hold strong well be­yond the Rugby Cham­pi­onship and World Cup. Coach Michael Cheika will be itch­ing to see how Skel­ton’s bru­tal run­ning game and grow­ing en­gine can com­ple­ment Sim­mons’ ag­gres­sion, workrate and li­ne­out nous. Hav­ing signed a twoyear ex­ten­sion with the ARU, Skel­ton is keen to be­come a stal­wart but in­sists the com­pe­ti­tion re­mains fierce. “Ev­ery­one keeps say­ing there’s not that much depth but we have a few com­ing through,” the 22- year- old said.

Apart­part from fin­ish­ing sec­ond to Spi­eth at the US Mas­ters, the Amer­i­can has strug­gled for much of the sea­son. But he has a win and an equal sec­ond from his past four Open starts. Just de­pends which ‘ Lefty’ turns up.

Ham­pered by chronic back prob­lems and ad­just­ing to his new swing, Woods has posted three scores in the 80s in his past six tour­na­ments, in­clud­ing a ca­reer- worst 13- over in Ohio. Re­turned to form with a four- un­der 66 at the Green­brier Clas­sic two weeks ago and says he has the form to win a fourth Open. Now 39, his last ma­jor came at the 2008 US Open. On track for the grand slam af­ter spell­bind­ing per­for­mances at Au­gusta and Cham­bers Bay. In his past 20 rounds, Spi­eth is a cu­mu­la­tive 56- un­der par. The only neg­a­tive is that he has played only one com­pet­i­tive round at St An­drews – four years ago. If prepa­ra­tion counts for any­thing, ADAM SCOTT is again knock­ing on the door af­ter a fine equal fourth at the US Open. Be­lieves he will revel in the pre­dicted high winds and seem­ingly in­evitable chal­lenges from Jor­dan Spi­eth, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose, Dustin John­son and Hen­rik Sten­son. Has fin­ished no lower than fifth at his past three Open starts. Has ex­celled at the past three edi­tions, twice lead­ing in the fi­nal round, and is a ma­jor win­ner. Has spent a week at St An­drews af­ter by­pass­ing the John Deere Clas­sic to have an un­matched prepa­ra­tion. MAR­COS Am­brose won’t make a de­ci­sion about his fu­ture in V8 Su­per­cars un­til af­ter Oc­to­ber’s event on the Gold Coast. The two- time cham­pion re­turned to Aus­tralia this year af­ter a decade rac­ing in theUS but quit as DJR Team Penske’s lead driver fol­low­ing just one cham­pi­onship round. Am­brose said he still felt un­com­fort­able af­ter a brief prac­tice ses­sion in Dar­win. The 38- year- old will re­turn as a co- driver for his re­place­ment Scott Pye at this sea­son’s en­durance races at Sandown, Bathurst and Gold Coast. But that’s as far as his com­mit­ment goes at this stage. “We will look at ev­ery­thing once we get through the en­durance races and make a timely de­ci­sion for ev­ery­body. It’s not just me mak­ing the choice ei­ther, it’s whether the team wants to put me back in the car as well,” Am­brose said. THE LAY­OUT Par 72, 6680m – two par 5s, 14 par 4s, two par 3s and 112 bunkers

( Mel­bourne time) Rod Pam­pling Matt Jones Dustin John­son ( USA), Jor­dan Spi­eth ( USA) Jason Day, Tiger Woods ( USA) John Sen­den Greg Chalmers Scott Arnold Adam Bland Scott Hend Steven Bowditch Ge­off Ogilvy Martin Kaymer ( GER), Jimmy Walker ( USA), Adam Scott Marc Leish­man Brett Rum­ford Mar­cus Fraser * Aussies un­less noted THE BET­TING Jor­dan Spi­eth Dustin John­son Adam Scott Rickie Fowler Hen­rik Sten­son Louis Oosthuizen Justin Rose Jason Day Tiger Woods

WEATHER Out­ra­geously tal­ented but with a wor­ry­ing pen­chant for chok­ing. Has lost as many as four ma­jors through nerves but re­mains a con­tender sim­ply be­cause of his sublime ball strik­ing.

PHIL MICK­EL­SON:

TIGER WATCH: Key tee times 3: 32pm 4: 16pm 6: 33pm

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