YOU don’t often get to see leading men and women pro golfers teeing up at the same venue but that is the opportunity at the 2016 Oates Vic Open this week.
Quality fields totalling 132 men and 144 women will take to Thirteenth Beach Golf Links in Barwon Heads with the four championship rounds of both the Vic Men’s and Vic Women’s Opens stretching from Thursday to Sunday.
Challenging for the Vic Men’s Open title are the likes of defending champion Richard Green, Peter Fowler, Peter O’Malley, Nick Cullen, Matthew Griffin, Jordan Zunic, Jason Norris, Matthew Giles, Paul Sheehan, Matthew Griffin, Gareth Paddison, Scott Arnold, Adam Bland, Steve Jeffress, David Bransdon and Daniel Fox.
The women are headed by arguably Australia’s greatest ever golfer Karrie Webb and include defending champ Marianne Skarpnord of Norway (who also happens to be Green’s partner – just to make things interesting), Australia’s third highest ranked player in Rebecca Artis, 2015 Ladies Masters winner and last year’s runner-up Su Oh, and the always entertaining Laura Davies.
The combined event has grown increasingly popular since the tournaments moved to first merge in 2012.
The men’s event signals the start of the 2016 season for the PGA Tour of Australasia while for the women the ALPA year hots up with the NZ Women’s Open next week, followed by the Women’s Australian Open in Adelaide in a fortnight, then the RACV Ladies Masters at Royal Pines on the Gold Coast.
Tournament Director David Greenhill said the addition of the likes of Cullen and Artis were a big boost to the field.
“Nick and Rebecca are world class players and greatly add to a long list of players who’ll challenge for the respective men’s and women’s titles this year. The quality of the 2016 fields is clearly the best yet with the largest ever contingent of international players competing in the Women’s Oates Vic Open in particular,” Greenhill said.
For those who can’t get to the course (Adult season pass $15, Day pass $5, children free) there will be live streaming of the final two rounds available at www.golfvic.org.au/oatesvicopenlive
More information at http://www.golfvic.org.au/vicopen
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