In a first for Australian professional golf, the Men’s and Women’s Victorian Opens will be jointly played in 2012 with both titles culminating at the Spring Valley Golf Club on Sunday January 8th.
The 2012 Men’s Victorian Open will be played over 72-holes from Thursday 5th to Sunday 8th January at Spring Valley while the Women’s Victorian Open will be concurrently played over 54-holes. Prizemoney will also be identical with a minimum of $125,000 on offer for each title.
The first round of the Women’s Victorian Open will be held at the Woodlands Golf Club on Friday January 6th, before moving to Spring Valley where the final two rounds will be played in conjunction with the Men’s Championship on weekend of January 7th – 8th.
The starting field for the Men’s Victorian Open will be approximately 144 players with a 36-hole ‘cut’ to see the leading 50 players plus ties progress to the final two rounds. The Women’s Victorian Open will feature a starting field of 84 players with the leading 50 players plus ties after 36-holes progressing to the final round.
A seeded draw will apply for the final day whereby men’s groups and women’s groups will alternately commence their rounds. This arrangement culminates with the leading group of men and the leading group of women to be the last to play from the 1st tee which in turn ensures a unique finale to the event later in the day, including a joint presentation.
The simultaneous staging of the Men’s and Women’s Victorian Opens will provide a number of advantages including co-ordinated promotion of each Championship; joint corporate activity (especially on the weekend); savings in operational expenditure as well as enabling spectators to see the conclusion to both titles at the same venue on the same day.
Golf Victoria President John Hobday commented that “In 2012, Golf Victoria is very excited to jointly stage Men’s and Women’s Victorian Open Championships that respect the history of each event but which presents and promotes Men’s and Women’s elite golf in a unique and innovative way.”
For many years, young male players such as Allenby, Appleby, Ogilvy, Baddeley, Leishman, Allan, Green, Fraser, Percy and Presnell have played in the Men’s Victorian Open initially as amateurs and then later as young professionals after working their way through the talent pathway in Victorian golf. We now want to mirror that opportunity for the best talented young female professionals and amateurs in what will also be a wonderful celebration of golf in general.’
In undertaking such a unique event, Golf Victoria is greatly appreciative of the support provided by both the Professional Golfers Association of Australia (PGA) and Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG).
“The Victorian Open is a key event on the PGA Tour of Australasia and with ongoing innovation and support from commercial partners it continues to grow in stature each year. Further adding to this unique concept, we are pleased to announce that for the first time World Golf Ranking points will be available to players in the Men’s 2012 Victorian Open field and we look forward to what promises to be a memorable event on the Australian golfing calendar,” said Brian Thorburn, Chief Executive Officer of the PGA of Australia.
Australian Ladies Professional Golf CEO Warren Sevil was similarly enthusiastic about the event. “This is an historic and exciting announcement for golf in Australia. The ALPG Tour is very grateful to Golf Victoria and we congratulate them on securing this joint Championship which boosts our schedule to six events in early 2012.
Golf is ready for new concepts and I am sure this unique event will be well supported by the players and well received by golf fans. We thank the Victorian Government and our host venues for their support and look forward to working with the men, both on and off the course, in what will be a very exciting and enjoyable week for all stakeholders.”