Date: February 03, 2020
Author: Martin Blake @ 13th Beach

The scramble: Last six spots filled by qualifiers

The last six spots in the ISPS Handa Vic Open field have been filled after a series of qualifying events.

The latecomers included a player whose day job is in a pro shop and driving range at the RACV resort at Cape Schanck, on the other side of Port Phillip Bay, in 27-year-old Andrew Schonewille.

Canberra amateur Josh Armstrong also qualified to join a strong amateur bunch in the field that includes Jed Morgan, Louis Dobbelaar and Andre Lautee.

Schonewille shot a brilliant five-under par 66 in tough conditions at Ranfurlie Golf Club in Cranbourne to win one of two spots available in that field, battling strong winds and driving rain throughout the round.

Schonewille has been a professional since 2016 and spent a year playing on the China Tour in 2018. But he was limited to mostly pro-ams in 2019, and has found himself working at Cape Schanck, not so far from his hometown Rosebud.  “I pick up range balls and do the karts,’’ said Schonewille. “That’s my job.”

He’s played Vic Opens before and had a top-10 finish. “It’s exciting,” he said. “I’ve had some success there in the past so let’s see. Let’s hope it’s windy and it knocks out all the Queenslanders and New South Wales guys!’’

The second spot went to Scottish-born Perth player Robbie Morrison, who shot 67, four-under par, and made consecutive pars to beat Chan Choi in a playoff for the spot.

At Curlewis, Armstrong’s 68 and Sydney pro Kevin Yuan’s 69 got them through.

The two final spots in the women’s field went to Koreans Jin Hee Im and Hee Won Jung, who progressed after a three-way playoff at Sanctuary Lakes that included Mexican pro Ingrid Gutierrez Nunez, a Symetra Tour player.

All three players posted three-under par and went to a playoff, with Im knocking down a six-metre birdie putt at the first to secure her position. Jung ultimately holed a nine-metre bomb for birdie at the fourth playoff hole to take the last remaining position.