Date: December 08, 2017
Author: Golf Victoria

Countdown to the 2018 Oates Vic Open begins

The countdown to the 2018 Oates Vic Open is officially on, with fans locally and around the world getting set for one of the world’s most unique golf tournaments.

Friday’s launch breakfast at GMHBA Stadium in Geelong signalled less than eight weeks until a host of Australia’s and the world’s most talented male and female golfers hit 13th Beach Golf Links in Barwon Heads for this one of a kind event.

Speaking at the launch, Minister for Sport, The Hon. John Eren addressed all in attendance, highlighting the importance of the Oates Vic Open to the region.

“The Victorian Government is proud to support the Oates Vic Open. It’s one of the events that brings so many people to this region and that’s why we’ve consistently boosted the prize money to ensure the event continues to grow. We’re proud to work with our sporting partners to keep these major golf events coming,” said Eren.

Also speaking at the launch was City of Greater Geelong Deputy Mayor, Cr. Peter Murrihy who reiterated the Oates Vic Open is a landmark event on the city’s annual sporting calendar.

“The city is proud once again to support this popular and unique event. 2018 marks the 6th consecutive year the tournament has been held in the Geelong region. In exciting news as of yesterday, the City of Greater Geelong via Geelong Major Events extended its host city sponsorship of this fantastic event for another three years through to 2021.

“The beautiful 13th Beach Golf Links on the Bellarine Peninsula is significant for tourists to get the chance to combine their love of golf and some of the best beaches, wineries and scenery in Australia,” said Murrihy.

Again in 2018, those unable to make it to the Bellarine Peninsula to walk the fairways alongside the players will be able to experience the next best thing with the return of the Oates Vic Open live stream over the weekend.

Broadcast in HD across and Facebook LIVE, the live stream of the final two rounds will again be anchored by Channel 7’s Grant Dodd and Ali Whitaker plus special on course commentators.

Viewership of the live stream in 2017 grew 500 per cent on the previous year, with friends, family and golf fans around the globe tuning in to catch Dimi Papadatos’ triumph and Mel Reid’s gruelling three-hole playoff victory.

In more good news, both Reid and Papadatos are set to return to the scene of their 2017 triumphs and will attempt to become the first player, male or female, to win back-to-back Oates Vic Open crowns since Bruce Devlin in 1962-63.

Simon Brookhouse, CEO of Golf Victoria, is thrilled to see the Oates Vic Open growing bigger and better every year.

“We’ve never been more excited for the Oates Vic Open to come around and we can’t wait to get down to 13th Beach in February,” said Brookhouse.

“Both the men’s and women’s fields will be as strong as ever and that’s something we’re extremely proud of.

“We know the fans, at the golf course and watching at home, want to see the world’s best golfers in Barwon Heads and we want to reward the players with a bigger prize pool every year.”

In 2017 a total of 12 Rio Olympians teed it up at the Oates Vic Open, with both the men’s and women’s fields expected to be as strong as any seen on Australian shores in 2018.

The Oates Vic Open will again provide the perfect tune-up for some of the world’s leading ladies, with the ISPS HANDA Women’s Australian Open underway in Adelaide just a fortnight later.

The Oates Vic Open will kickstart a huge three weeks for women’s golf in Australia, with the ALPG Tour launching the new ActewAGL Canberra Classic the week after the Oates Vic Open.

The men’s event will again be one of the landmark stops in the early stages of the PGA Tour of Australasia season, with the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth kicking off the following week.

The Oates Vic Open is the only golf tournament across the globe where men and women compete on the same courses concurrently, for the same prize money, at the same time.

In 2018, the shared prize pool will be greater than ever before, with the men’s and women’s fields to compete for $650,000 each, up $150,000 each on last year.

From Thursday February 1, a total of $1.3 million will be up for grabs across 13th Beach’s Creek and Beach Courses with alternating men’s and women’s groups across all four days.

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