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Former winners set for Johnnie Walker Classic

Adam Scott returns to Australia this week to defend his Johnnie Walker Classic title against a top-class field including world number three Retief Goosen and U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell.

World number 10 Scott will aim to become the first player to stage a successful defence of the trophy when he tees up in the 14th edition of the tournament at the Vines Resort and Country Club in Perth on Thursday.

The 25-year-old Australian led from start to finish when the 2005 event was held in Beijing.

Goosen returned from a six-week break to finish sixth at Sunday's Dubai Desert Classic won by world number one Tiger Woods after a playoff with Ernie Els.

South African Goosen has fond memories of the Johnnie Walker Classic after his stunning win four years ago.

He took a record 13-stroke lead into the final round at Lake Karrinyup Country Club in Perth before romping to victory by eight.

Campbell is another former champion competing this week.

The New Zealander collected his first European Tour victory when he triumphed at the 2000 Johnnie Walker Classic.

The world number 13 is something of a Vines specialist after capturing back-to-back Heineken Classic titles at the same course in 2000 and 2001.

Other players in the field who have previously won at the Vines include European Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam, the 1996 Heineken Classic champion, and Australia's Jarrod Moseley, who won the same tournament in 1999.

World number 11 Colin Montgomerie of Britain and Argentina's Angel Cabrera, ranked 15th, are also chasing this week's first prize of 305,000 euros ($366,000).

Former U.S. Masters champion Fred Couples returns to the event for the first time since 1997 alongside local favourite Robert Allenby, holder of the domestic triple crown of Australian Open, Masters and PGA titles.

The Johnnie Walker Classic, which was first played in 1992, is tri-sanctioned by the European Tour, the PGA Tour of Australasia and the Asian Tour.

February 7, 2006


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