Major champs do battle in round-three showdowns

This is where it gets tough.

Major champions up against major champions; leading female players of the present against some of the legends of our past; icons of Australian golf going head-to-head.

We started with 64 of the best golfers our country has ever produced and now, as we enter the third round, just 16 remain vying to be crowned Australia’s Greatest Golfer.

Bruce Devlin was the final person to advance past the second round when he edged out reigning Women’s PGA champion Hannah Green by the narrowest of margins on Tuesday and will now face off against Steve Elkington for a spot in the semi-finals.

Australian golf fans have been given the mandate to lodge their votes through the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia Facebook page for who they believe should win each match and PGA of Australia CEO Gavin Kirkman trusts that their knowledge and passion will see a worthy winner emerge.

“I’ve been fascinated to see how the voting has gone with each of the matches to be honest,” Kirkman said.

“There have been a few surprises along the way but I don’t think there is any doubt that the final 16 Aussie golfers are worthy of their place in the third round of Australia’s Greatest Golfer.

“I don’t envy the decisions fans will have to make in these exciting matches. I’ll be watching on with interest to see which way they go.”

The first of the round three matches on Tuesday will see five-time British Open champion Peter Thomson pitted against 2015 US PGA champion and former world No.1 Jason Day.

Although he himself deferred Australia’s greatest status to Karrie Webb before his passing in June 2018, Thomson is widely regarded as our most accomplished male golfer with a record in The Open championship that almost defies belief.

Although he didn’t venture into the US too often at the peak of his powers, Thomson joined the Champions Tour in 1984 and won 11 times in the space of just 13 months before walking away.

“I actually asked him, I said, ‘Thommo, how come you didn’t play anymore on the Champions Tour?’” recalls Peter Senior, winner of 21 PGA Tour of Australasia titles.

“His answer? ‘I got embarrassed.’ I said, ‘What from?’ And he said, ‘Winning every week. These guys reckon I couldn’t play.’

“I’ve never heard of anyone being embarrassed about winning but he certainly was.”

Current PGA TOUR colleagues Matt Jones and Marc Leishman feature in a mouth-watering showdown, major champions Ian Baker-Finch and David Graham will no doubt divide the opinions of fans while 2006 US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy is up against our all-time greatest major champion, Karrie Webb.

Round three
Peter Thomson v Jason Day
Matt Jones v Marc Leishman
Ian Baker-Finch v David Graham
Adam Scott v Rod Pampling
Geoff Ogilvy v Karrie Webb
Greg Norman v Aaron Baddeley
Kel Nagle v Minjee Lee
Steve Elkington v Bruce Devlin

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