This groundbreaking event features men and women competing for equal prize money
Vic Open Leaderboard, Preview, TV Times
The European Tour takes in 13th Beach Links near Melbourne, Australia this week for a special and unique mixed gender tournament.
2018 Women’s British Open champion Georgia Hall headlines along with Charley Hull, who has won already this year at the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open.
This event is new on the European Tour schedule for 2019 but is by no means a new tournament.
The Victorian Open dates back to 1957 and has been won by the likes of Gary Player, Peter Thompson, Greg Norman and Ian Baker-Finch down the years.
The tournament has been heralded in recent years for including both men and women, and this year’s event includes the men’s European Tour and PGA Tour of Australia as well as the LPGA and ALPGA Tours.
13th Beach Links has been host to the tournament since 2013, which is also the year that the Vic Open hosted both the men and women.
Back then, the tournament offered $300,000 AUD ($150,000 each for men and women), whilst this year the prize fund is $3m AUD ($1.5m each for men and women).
It means that this groundbreaking event is the only professional golf event offering equal prize money for both men and women.
There has been some controversy for 2019 though, as the event included the Ladies European Tour in both 2017 and 2018 but it has been replaced for the LPGA Tour this year.
That must have been a bitter pill to swallow for the LET, and it must be even more bitter now as just four of the top 50 in the women’s rankings are teeing it up.
They are; 2016 champion Georgia Hall, Charley Hull, Minjee Lee and Pernilla Lindberg.
The lack of top players is sad for LET players who are “desperate” to play in the event as Becky Brewerton recently tweeted.
“Not sure what’s sadder. The fact this event is insignificant to so many LPGA pros. Or the fact that myself and many other LET pros are so desperate to play in an event that used to be ours we’d pretty much be willing to sell out granny’s to get in,” the two-time LET winner wrote.
After the announcement last year, three-time LET winner Beth Allen tweeted, “Really sad to hear that
@GolfAust has decided not to include the @LETgolf for the 2019 @VicOpenGolf.
“Myself & many other members of the LET have supported the event from the start. To be excluded the year that the event has reached over 1 million AUD is so disappointing.”
It’s not the strongest field for the men either, with the likes of home favourite Geoff Ogilvy headlining along with Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston, Aaron Rai, Richard McEvoy, Marcus Fraser, Scott Hend and Ryan Fox also playing.
The event will include no less than 315 participants from the four Tours involved and the players will tackle both the Beach and Creek Courses.
There will be a regular cut after two rounds and then another after the third round. Men and women will play separately but one-after-another in tee times.
The Creek Course is said to showcase traditional Australian sandbelt golf with firm and fast conditions along with gentle undulations. It also features pine trees and some water and looks to be a stunning course. It will only be used on the first two days along with the newer Beach Course which will exclusively host the weekend’s action.
The Beach Course measures 6,800 yards and plays more linksy than the Creek due to its dunes.
How to watch the Vic Open
Thursday 7 –Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 4am
Friday 8 – Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 4am
Saturday 9 – Sky Sports Golf from 2am and Sky Sports Main Event from 2.30am
Sunday 10 Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 1am
Not a Sky Sports customer and want to watch the Vic Open?
Players to watch:
Georgia Hall – Hall is the headline name and won this tournament in 2016
Jazz Janewattananond – The young Thai won the recent Singapore Open so comes here in good form
Minjee Lee – The Australian lady is the defending champion and also won the tournament in 2014
Ryan Fox – The Kiwi comes into the Vic Open after a T6 finish in the Saudi International
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