06 Feb 2023 | Vic Open |
Aussie LPGA stars join the party at Vic Open
by Australian Golf Media
The Vic Open women’s field has been given a late shot in the arm with the inclusion of LPGA Tour stars Grace Kim and Su Oh.
The outstanding duo committed to this week’s Vic Open at 13th Beach Golf Links on the Bellarine Peninsula at the last minute, joining the legendary Karrie Webb and two-time Major winner Jiyai Shin in what will now be a power-laden women’s field. They are both past recipients of Golf Australia’s Karrie Webb Scholarship. Oh, 26, was runner-up in the event in 2015 when she was a rookie professional, just before she found her way to the LPGA Tour in the United States where she plays the majority of her golf. An Olympian at Rio De Janeiro in 2016 and the winner of the Australian Ladies Masters in 2015, South Korean-born Oh, who grew up in Melbourne, has established herself as one of Australian Golf’s best exports. Last year she won the WPGA Championship at Royal Queensland by four shots, an event that was held in conjunction with the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship. Sydney-based Kim, 22, plays out of Avondale Golf Club and is emerging as a world class professional already, having put together a stellar amateur career. She was both Australian and New South Wales Amateur champion and won a gold medal at the Youth Olympics. When Oh won the WPGA Championship at Royal Queensland in January 2022, Kim was runner-up. Kim also was in contention deep into the ISPS HANDA Australian Open at Victoria and Kingston Heath in December, ultimately finishing fourth after a 72nd-hole error in a fairway bunker cost her a chance of winning. She is heading to the US soon to take up the LPGA Tour playing rights that she earned at Q-School last year. “As often happens with these events, the field picks up strength late,” said Therese Magdulski, Golf Australia’s General Manager of Events and Operations today. “Having these two young women in the field is going to bolster the field immeasurably. We’re delighted that they’ve seen their way clear to come and play in the event. “Su has been one of our best players for a long time now and Grace is in her early years as a professional but it’s clear that she has the talent to have a wonderful career. “Put them into a field that already includes Karrie and Jiyai Shin and we couldn’t be happier with how it’s panned out.” The Vic Open is celebrating its 10th playing at 13th Beach, beginning on Thursday. The tournament sees men and women play tournaments concurrently across the Beach and Creek courses – one of the marquee attractions on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and the WPGA Tour of Australasia schedules. Both men and women will each play for a $420,000 prize purse. The men’s field also includes some great talent, with Order Of Merit winners Jake McLeod and Matthew Griffin joining the likes of Victoria’s David Micheluzzi, who is currently sitting at No.2 on the Order of Merit for 2022-23. With the top three players on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit at season’s end earning DP World Tour playing rights for 2023-24, recent winners such as Micheluzzi (WA PGA), Geelong-raised Deyen Lawson (WA Open), Andrew Martin (Victorian PGA) and Tom Power Horan (Gippsland Super 6) have a lot to play for at 13th Beach. Another big addition to the field is the No.1 player on the world rankings for Golfers with Disability and 2022 Australian All Abilities Championship winner Kipp Popert, who tees it up amongst the able-bodied players at Barwon Heads having recently competed in the Australian Amateur championship in Sydney. This year’s Vic Open also features the Victorian Inclusive and the Australian Wheelchair Championships on the Creek Course at 13th Beach on the Saturday and Sunday of tournament week. The Vic Open is proudly supported by the Victorian Government.
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