With the new year comes an even bigger event to start off with. The 2019 Vic Open is a globally unique event that has grown from strength to strength over the past 5 years to become the richest tournament in Australian Golf with both the Men’s and Women’s events worth a very generous $1.5 million for each event. The tournament is run in conjunction with one another with men’s and women’s groups alternating through the tournament days across the two championship courses at 13th beach in Barwon Heads, Victoria.
It was a week filled with mixed emotions for me as I only gained entry into the tournament on the Monday after of the event after just finishing the pre qualifying for the tournament unsuccessfully. I was sitting in my car looking at flights home and got an sms to tell me there had been a withdrawal on the Australasian PGA Tour side of the entry list and I would be teeing it up on Thursday in the event. I drove straight to 13th Beach from Portarlington Golf Club and play another 9 holes on the Monday afternoon. To my delight, the course was in fantastic condition for the strong fields from the European Tour, LPGA Tour, ALPG and Australasian PGA tour players. I knew regardless of the result, it was going to be a good week and I was not disappointed.
I played the Beach course in the afternoon on the first round and whilst striking the ball reasonably well, failed to convert some of my opportunities and shot a level par 72. Whilst I knew I had left a few shots out there I didn’t feel as though it was a terrible round of golf, however when I saw that I was tied for 127th (of 156) after the first round, I knew there was a lot of work to do on Friday!
With a late finish I left my practice for the morning and returned well before my tee time on the 2nd round to put a bit of time in on the greens before my round. I played quite solid and converted more of my opportunities, having 6 birdies in my round. Unfortunately, this was combined with 3 bogeys seeing my finish -3 for 2 rounds and miss out on the halfway cut by 2 shots. I can’t say that I was extremely disappointed as I had played reasonably well despite knowing it wasn’t my best, I enjoyed it all the same.
I was fortunate enough to stay with some lovely hosts, Stuart and Dianne who helped make it a very enjoyable week for me. I am already looking forwards to the 2020 Vic Open! The organisation around the tournament was fantastic and its events like this one that really enforce why we, as professional golfers pour our hearts, souls and bank accounts into doing what we love.
My next event is the qualifying tournament for the PGA Tour China Series in Guangzhou February 19-22.