President Obama on his way to Australia

President Obama on his way to Australia

US President Barack Obama
, a golfing fanatic, will be in Australia at the same time as the world's best golfers when the President’s Cup is played in Melbourne later this year.

The White House this morning announced the presidential visit, on November 16 and 17, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Australia-US alliance. It will be third-time lucky for Mr Obama, who was forced to cancel two visits at the invitation of Prime Minister Julia Gillard last year.

Details of Mr Obama's trip are yet to be finalised and it is unclear if he will be joined by wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha

But hopes are growing he will be at famed sandbelt course Royal Melbourne as Greg Norman's internationals take on a US team likely to be captained by Tiger Woods and including basketball legend Michael Jordan as an "assistant" to US captain Fred Couples.

Norman's international team is likely to feature in-form Australians Jason Day and Adam Scott, currently seventh and ninth respectively on the official world golf rankings.

The biennial Presidents Cup, which pits the top-ranked US players against the best international stars in match-play golf, is being held for the ninth time.

International captain Greg Norman shares a moment with Tiger Woods after his singles win to give the US victory in 2009. Photo: AP

Woods’ last tournament victory was in 2009 at the Australian Masters in Melbourne, days before his private life exploded on to the front pages.

The anniversary of the signing of the ANZUS treaty was on September 1.

Events planned for the anniversary have been held throughout the year in Australia and the US. Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Defence Minister Stephen Smith will travel to the US later this month for the Australia-United States Ministerial consultations, which will take place in the same San Francisco building in which the treaty was signed.

Announcing Mr Obama's trip today, the White House said the ANZUS alliance played a critical role in the security of the Asia-Pacific region.

‘‘Australia is one of the United States’ closest allies and our troops have served together bravely in Afghanistan and conflict zones throughout the world,’’ a statement from the White House said.

International captain Greg Norman shares a moment with Tiger Woods after his singles win to give the US victory in 2009.

‘‘This visit will immediately follow the APEC Leaders Meeting hosted by President Obama in Hawaii and will provide the two leaders an opportunity to build on the APEC agenda and expand bilateral cooperation to increase global economic growth, trade and jobs.

‘‘The President looks forward to consulting closely with the Prime Minister on global and regional issues in preparation for the East Asia Summit to be held later that week in Bali, Indonesia.’’

Source:Nino Bucci September 13, 2011

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