The West

Graeme McDowell. Picture: AP.
Graeme McDowell. Picture: AP.

Major winner Graeme McDowell is among three high-profile signings for the Australian Masters at Kingston Heath in Melbourne from November 15-18.

The Ulsterman, who ended a 40-year wait for a European winner at the US Open at Pebble Beach last year, will return to Australia after seven years.

"It has been a while since I last played in Australia and I have been desperate to get back down there ever since," McDowell said ahead of the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island.

"It's such a beautiful country with great golf courses, great people and lovely weather.

"I am really looking forward to getting back down to Melbourne and playing on the sandbelt again."

McDowell has yet to taste success on the US PGA Tour this season, but has proved again why he is a world-class player with a runner-up placing at the US Open before finishing fifth at last month's British Open following a final-round 75.

Also signed for Melbourne by promoter IMG is defending champion Ian Poulter, of England, and Adam Scott, the world No.7 Australian who has established himself as a genuine threat at the majors over the past two years.

Scott, who is also campaigning at the US PGA Championship, has come closer than any other Australian player to winning a major for many years with second at the British Open last month.

After blowing a seemingly invincible position in his loss to South African Ernie Els, Scott is looking for redemption and nowhere more so than in Australia where his record has not mirrored his success on the world stage with 18 career titles.

His only Australian win was at the Australian Open in 2009.

Last year Scott also missed out at the US Masters, finishing in a tie for second. He shared third at the US PGA Championship in 2006.

Scott said the Melbourne event would be enhanced by the entries of players like McDowell, who he partnered in the final round at Royal Lytham and St Annes, and Poulter.

"It will be a great week and it's fantastic to see top-class international players like Poults and Graeme in the field," Scott said.

"I'm sure we will see massive crowds and a fantastic tournament."

Poulter, one of the most charismatic players on tour, became the second Englishman to wear the Masters gold jacket last year.

"I am delighted to return to Melbourne to defend my title," he said.

"I thought Victoria Golf Club last year was an outstanding layout and I am looking forward to returning to the sandbelt."

The Australian Masters will be sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia.

Greg Norman remains the only player in the 33-year history of the Masters to successfully defend the title.

The West Australian

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