The 2017 Oates Vic Open will be held from 9-12 February at Thirteenth Beach Golf Links, Barwon Heads. This will mark the fifth consecutive year the concurrent men’s and women’s tournaments will be hosted at one of Victoria’s premier golf facilities in the Greater Geelong region.
The scene is set for the 2017 tournament after a thrilling finish in the final round in February this year, which saw 19-year old Georgia Hall (England) secure her first professional win, whilst New Zealand’s Michael Long produced the chip of his life out of a hazard during the first play-off hole to win the men’s title.
Golf Victoria CEO Simon Brookhouse is pleased about the position of the event on the international golf calendar.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity in 2017 to lead into the ISPS HANDA Women’s Australian Open and the World Super 6 Perth. This will provide a chance for players to compete in the Oates Vic Open as a perfect lead up to these other major international events.
“Each year the quality of the men’s and women’s fields has improved, including leading players from around the world. Everyone involved in the event is looking forward to seeing all our loyal spectators back and I’m confident 2017 will have its own set of thrilling storylines,” said Brookhouse.
The Oates Vic Open is staged with both men’s and women’s fields playing on the same course, at the same time, for the same amount of total prize money. The event remains the only one of its kind on the world stage.
A major drawcard of the Oates Vic Open for spectators is the opportunity to walk the fairways with the players. In 2016, world class fields including some of Australia’s top calibre talent combined with professionals from 28 different countries descended on the Beach and Creek course layouts at Thirteenth Beach.
Acting Minister for Sport, Martin Foley MP said the government was looking forward to welcoming players and visitors to Barwon Heads again in 2017.
“The Victorian Government has been a proud supporter of the Oates Victorian Open, and has no doubt the 2017 event will be the best yet.
“We are confident the timing of next year’s event will provide a great opportunity for some of the best golfers to compete in a world class event in the lead up to the ISPS HANDA Women’s Australian Open and the World Super 6 Perth,” Minister Foley said.
The 2016 field alone included 10 players that qualified and competed in the Olympic Games recently held in Rio de Janeiro. Olympians included past Oates Vic Open champions Australian Minjee Lee (2014) and Marianne Skarpnord (2015) from Norway whose caddie was fiancé and men’s 2015 Champion Richard Green, whilst Nanna Madsen who finished tied for second alongside Skarpnord earlier this year represented Denmark. Victoria’s own Su Oh, a former runner-up at the Oates Vic Open also enjoyed a fantastic Olympic performance, with a T13 finish.
City of Greater Geelong General Manager of Investment & Attraction Brett Luxford said the City is a proud supporter of the 2017 Oates Vic Open.
“Geelong is a premier events destination abuzz with sporting, cultural and food and wine events and the 2017 Oates Vic Open continues to be a highlight on our Summer events calendar,” said Mr Luxford.
“Thirteenth Beach Golf Links is an outstanding golf facility and I’m sure visitors will enjoy the tournament as well as everything the beautiful coastal township of Barwon Heads has to offer.”
Both the men’s and women’s honour rolls are rich in Australian golfing history, featuring names such as Peter Thompson (1958, ’68, ’73), Greg Norman (1984), Ian Baker-Finch (1985) and more recently Richard Green (2015), Matthew Griffin (2014), Stacey Keating (2013) and Minjee Lee (2014).
The 2017 Oates Vic Open is a sanctioned event on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and ALPG Tour.