One of female golf’s biggest names Laura Davies will come to town in just over three weeks when the 2013 Victorian Open is hosted for the very first time at the prestigious Thirteenth Beach Golf Links in Barwon Heads. Joining her will be recent 2012 Australian PGA Winner Daniel Popovic. The Victorian stormed into the eye of the golfing world last December with a remarkable victory to become an Australian Major Champion.
The commitment by both players has further bolstered both the men’s and women’s fields for a share in a total prize pool of $300,000 which will be split evenly. For the second straight year, the Open will adopt the innovative format of playing both the men and women simultaneously on the same course for the final two rounds. Thursday 21 February when the action tees off will see the women compete on the Creek Course for the opening two rounds whilst the men will battle it out on the Beach Course. When the fields are shortened for weekend action, the Beach Course will host both genders in a unique concept to world professional golf.
Davies will make the trip to Barwon Heads looking for her world class experience to assist her in the quest to become the second straight international female winner after Joanna Klatten from France took out the coveted trophy last year at Spring Valley Golf Club.
The 49 year old English born Davies will enter the tournament with arguably the best pedigree of any other player in the field, having won a staggering 84 professional events worldwide including four major victories. Since turning pro in 1985, Davies has etched out an illustrious career as a professional golfer, topping the Ladies European Tour money list a record setting seven occasions and becoming the first non-American to top the LPGA money list back in 1994.
The list of accolades is one that can hardly be rivalled by competitors with one of her biggest achievements being the only player to have played in every Solheim Cup since its inception in 1990. Davies has also won at least one individual event around the world every year of her 28 year career except for 2005 and 2011.
Unlike Davies, Daniel Popovic’s name has only recently been put up in lights on golf’s big stage having pulled off one of the most unlikely victories in Australian Major History with a PGA win at Coolum in mid-December last year. A former pennant player for Kew Golf Club, the 26 year old had the Australian golfing fraternity talking having shown nerves of steel throughout the entire tournament including holing some of the biggest putts of his career on the final day. Popovic finished as a four shot victor at 16 under with scores of 64-70-69-69 on his way to collecting a life changing $225,000 cheque.
Now a member at The Heritage Golf Club, Popovic will hope to have his name engraved alongside some of golf’s biggest ever names on the men’s Vic Open trophy following the conclusion of the final round on Sunday 24 February. Popovic has been a starter in previous Vic Open’s but has remained a relatively unknown player until now. 2013 will no doubt be a completely new experience for the Australian PGA Winner as flying under the radar is something the Victorian left behind at the Palmer Coolum Resort.
For all the up-to-date news regarding the 2013 Vic Open, check Golf Victoria’s website, www.golfvic.org.au and follow @VicOpenGolf on twitter.