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Royal Melbourne hoping Scott draws crowd

ORGANISERS of the Australian Masters and World Cup of Golf are hoping Adam Scott will draw 100,000 people through Royal Melbourne's gates.

ORGANISERS of the Australian Masters and World Cup of Golf are hoping Adam Scott's magnetic pulling power will draw 100,000 people through the gates of Royal Melbourne in two huge weeks of golf.

Fresh from Sunday's Australian PGA triumph, US Masters champion Scott is the top drawcard as he defends his domestic Masters title this week and then pairs with world No.20 Jason Day in Australia's team for the World Cup.

The tournaments will be held back to back at the world renowned sand-belt course in Melbourne's south-east, which has also hosted two Presidents Cup contests.

Scott's victory at the Australian PGA on the Gold Coast was reminiscent of the glory days of Greg Norman as fans flocked for a glimpse of the world No.2.

Royal Melbourne chief executive Paul Rak said he expected 10,000-15,000 spectators a day over the four days of each tournament.

"With Adam winning on the weekend, I think a lot of people really want to see him," said Rak.

"With him playing with Jason Day in a team event playing for Australia, which we all love, that will be another add-on for the second week so I expect the crowds to be pretty strong for both weeks."

While Scott will defend his Australian Masters title, the 120-man field also includes Geoff Ogilvy, former world No.1 Vijay Singh and also a big human interest story in Jarrod Lyle's return for his first tournament after another battle with cancer.

In the World Cup that features 28 nations, the USA will be represented by world No.8 Matt Kuchar and Bill Haas, while other big names in the field include world No.11 Irishman Graeme McDowell and Argentina's Angel Cabrera.

With both events organised by sports giant IMG, the logistics of holding two prestigious tournament in successive weeks are more manageable than in 1988 when Royal Melbourne hosted the Bicentenary Classic followed by the World Cup, with different companies running each.

Rak said it made sense to have both at the same venue with the facilities already in place.

It's still a giant under-taking with 55 greenkeepers on deck, working from 4.30am before a break and then regrouping again once the last of the golfers is off the course.

Royal Melbourne superintendent Richard Forsyth said a big challenge was choosing pin placements with 10 positions needed on the sloping greens over two weeks.

The composite course will play the same apart from one tee placement change in the second week.

"It will be a similar lay-out to the 2011 Presidents Cup, they've just changed the order of the last three holes to make the 18th finish on the traditional 18th hole."

AAP

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