Date: January 31, 2018
Author: PGA of Australia

Dimi puts Vic title on the line

Dimitrios Papadatos was crowned the 2017 ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia player of the year and this week begins the first of two title defences when the Oates Vic Open tees off from 1-4 February at 13th Beach Golf Links.

Papadatos began his 2017 season with a two-shot victory at 13th Beach Golf Links at last year’s Oates Vic Open before he won his third professional title at the TX Civil & Logistics WA PGA Championship in Kalgoorlie.

It was enough for his player of the year gong at the Greg Norman Medal night in November.

“I was very happy to receive that, I obviously had a good start to the year with a couple of wins and a good finish in New Zealand,” said Papadatos.

“It wasn’t the back end of the season that I was hoping for but I’ve done a bit of work in the last month so hopefully I can turn it around this week.”

After a busy international schedule playing predominantly on the European Challenge Tour as well as events on the Asian Tour, the 26-year-old took some well-deserved time off before beginning his 2018 season this week.

“I’ve been pretty relaxed, I haven’t been playing the best, I did a bit of fishing over Christmas hopefully that will help me out,” Papadatos joked.

“I well and truly switched off for a couple of weeks, but the last month or so has just been trying to sort everything out in my full game, a bit of exercise and some more practice, just trying to iron out the creases.”

The New South Welshman is no stranger to defending one of the bigger events on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia having his first Professional victory at the 2014 ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open; he says being a defending champion doesn’t mean much when the next tournament rolls around, particularly this early in the season.

“There are some expectations given I won last year and that sort of stuff but I don’t really worry about that too much,” he said.

“Everyone starts off the same, especially this early in the year. Each week is a fresh week.”

The Oates Vic Open signals Papadatos’ first competitive hit-out of the year and while he admits he hasn’t hit peak form, he’s looking forward to seeing how he measures up for a run of five tournaments on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.

“It’ll be good to see where my game is at this week. I didn’t have any smaller events leading in to this week and this one’s a pretty big one to start off with so you want to be pretty sharp straight up.

“It’s a tough field this week and tough courses but hopefully my game is on.”

The Oates Vic Open is one of the most unique Professional golf tournaments in the world with both the men and women playing on the same courses in the same week.

This year the tournament’s growing popularity has seen the prize money increased to $1.3million to be split equally between the men and women.

“It’s great and with the increase in prizemoney the tournament’s only going to get bigger and bigger.

“There are grandstands out here this year so I’m expecting some pretty big crowds which is always nice as a player, I’m looking forward to it.”