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Nic Ladds 9th Dec 2008 - 13:14

John is Senden good vibes from Australia

John Senden won the 2006 Australian Open and the 14/1 Aussie native has his sights firmly set on another victory this week.

Geoff Ogilvy comes in to the Australian Open as 7/1 favourite having last week won the Australian PGA by two shots. Ogilvy put in a fantastic 69 on his last round to beat Matthew Goggin into second with Australian Masters winner Rod Pampling having another excellent tournament finishing a further shot back in third. Goggin and Pampling are available at 16/1 and 14/1 respectively to improve on their finishes last week and win the Australian Open.

Royal Sydney, regarded as one of the world's best, has firm fairways, plenty of wind and undulating greens making this course a real all-round challenge and, as a result, those with a more complete game tend to do well here.

Last year's winner Craig Parry is 66/1 to defend his title. He will do well to do so as his form has not been great in the run up to this tournament and history shows that players who do well here have rarely started bigger than 50/1 so it may be best to concentrate on some of the front runners.

Robert Allenby (9/1) and Peter Lonard (18/1) are multiple tournament winners in Australia and both have previously won this one. However, both have been performing well below what they are capable of with Allenby having some personal problems, which may be a distraction, and Lonard is struggling with the putter.

Pampling and Goggin are both in with excellent chances as both are have had some good finishes in recent weeks and will be quietly confident of impressing in the third tournament in a row in their home country.

Adam Scott certainly has the talent to win this tournament but pulled out last week due to a knee injury and hasn't been able to find his best form recently so is opposable at 10/1. The same applies to eight-time PGA winner Stuart Appleby who has disappointed over the last two weeks and is best left alone at 12/1.

Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke comes to Australia with a very real reason to do well other than the prize money. Clarke currently sits 66th in the world rankings and is determined to break the top 50 by the end of the year so that he gets an automatic invite to the US Masters.

His putting has let him down recently so he has gone to the measure of taking a long-handled putter with him in the hope that his luck with flat-stick will improve. If Clarke can get it together he can make a mockery of the 22/1 on offer.

The biggest threat to Ogilvy could come in the shape of 14/1 John Senden who has been practicing on the course just a couple of days before the start of the tournament.

Senden won the 2006 Australian Open and comes here in good heart having finished well in the Australian PGA to take a share of sixth spot and he is determined to improve on this and make a real push for a second title.

Recommendations:
John Senden - each way at 14/1
Darren Clarke - each way at 22/1

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