Ambrose coy over V8s future
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.
TIGER WATCH: Key tee times 3: 32pm 4: 16pm 6: 33pm
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