The Oates Vic Open at Thirteenth Beach in Barwon Heads has built a reputation as a family-friendly event for spectators – and now it appears for players as well.
That’s certainly the case for Italian Diana Luna, who has brought husband Fabio and daughters Elena, 5, and Flavia, who turns one on Monday, along with her on this recent trip to Australia.
While Luna has played Down Under previously, it’s her first appearance at the Oates Vic Open and she’s been impressed by the experience of playing a tournament alongside the men – and believes the European and Ladies European Tours should take note.
“The first thing I said to my husband was we should really take example because it’s really well-organised,” Luna said.
“I think it’s great. I’m so impressed by the event and there’s stuff for the kids to do and there’s schools coming in. I was surprised by how good the attitude is to the women.”
Luna, a five-time winner on the LET and a former European Solheim Cup representative, has enjoyed some `down time’ as well with her family.
“I was on the beach at Ocean Grove with my daughter this morning and they’re all enjoying it,” Luna said.
“It’s a wonderful country and I been here so many times and it’s a welcoming country. It’s really nice.”
After taking a break to give birth to Flava, Luna returned to playing on the LET mid-way through 2015 and has the goal of representing Italy at this year’s Rio Olympics as her No.1 target.
The 33-year-old is currently the third highest ranked Italian women’s player on the world rankings at 354.
Luna bounced back from an opening round of 76 around the Beach Course at Thirteenth Beach to play all four rounds this week and said she’ll be back in 2017.
The family only arrived in Australia late on Monday and Luna admitted she was still feeling the effects of the long-haul travel when she teed up a couple of days later.
“I was very tired on Thursday. I still had some jet lag so I knew the first day was doing to be a tough one,” Luna, who’s bounced back with rounds of even par 73 and one-under 72, said.
“I had a better sleep Thursday night and the game is getting back again and I’m feeling better.”