20 Dec 2021 | Professional golf |
Major champions tee it up at Vic Open
by Australian Golf Media
Two of Australia’s favourite major champions have committed to playing the groundbreaking and popular Vic Open at 13th Beach from 10-13 February. Hannah Green is a world top-30 player who is at home after another fine season on the LPGA Tour in America and around the world, and while Geoff Ogilvy no longer travels the world playing, he remains a force on the domestic scene and is a drawcard with his silky swing and thoughtful demeanour. Green won the Women’s PGA Championship in 2019 to become just the third Australian woman to secure one of the majors, behind all-time greats Jan Stephenson and Karrie Webb. Ogilvy won the 2006 US Open at Winged Foot to etch his name into the pantheon of Australian major-winners, not to mention three World Golf Championship victories, an Australian Open win, 18 years on the US PGA Tour and a career-high world ranking of No. 3. He is a home-grown superstar of the sport who has family on the Bellarine Peninsula and who loves the Vic Open with its world famous mixed-gender format. “I have some great memories of the Vic Open that go back to the 1980s, Greg Norman winning at Metropolitan and Ian Baker-Finch at Yarra Yarra, that kind of thing,” said Ogilvy today. “I remember Rob Allenby winning in 1991 and I was 14, and it inspired me to want to play one and win one. “I’ve played quite a few and I was in the last group on Sunday a couple of times. It’s still one of my favourite events, a really great tournament. “Nowadays this event is a standard-bearer for the sport, I think, with the mixed gender aspect. I love the innovative way it’s set up, and I’ve always enjoyed watching women play golf, just how good they are. Green, a 2021 Olympian who recently won a $US1 million bonus for her play on the LPGA Tour, also has been a regular at the Vic Open as it surged to popularity as a world-first mixed-gender event with men and women playing on the same course for the same money. “I absolutely love coming to 13th Beach and playing in this event alongside the men,” said Green. “It’s a tournament that showcases the tremendous talent that golf has across its tours. Aside from that I’m so pleased to be teeing it up back in Australia after everything we’ve gone through in the past 18 months. “I think we all crave a return to normality and golf’s no different. I can’t wait for this event in February and I’ll be trying my best to win it for the first time.”
Both men’s and women’s events will be part of the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia and the WPGA Tour of Australasia. Prizemoney has been set at a minimum of $820,000, with equal prize pools of $410,000 each for men and women -- which makes it the largest women’s prize purse event in Australia and the second largest prize purse event for the men in Australia this summer. Fields of 144 men and 72 women will commence Thursday, with the top 35 men and 35 women and ties making it through to Sunday.
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