Date: September 25, 2012

Vic Open Launch – State Government & CoGG Back Event

Golf Victoria is pleased to announce that the 2013 Victorian Open will be hosted at the prestigious Thirteenth Beach Golf Links, featuring two Championship courses. The men’s and women’s Championships will simultaneously run from February 21 – 24, 2013 and will continue to build on the success of the 2012 tournament, held at Spring Valley and Woodlands Golf Clubs.

For the past four years, Spring Valley has been the home of the Vic Open, playing an integral part in continuing the rich history of the event. January, 2012 marked the inaugural year for the Open as a concurrent men’s and women’s tournament that gained widespread attention amongst the golfing world for its unique format.

The shift to Thirteenth Beach has come on the back of significant support from the State Government, the City of Greater Geelong and the club itself.

Located on the Bellarine Peninsula, Thirteenth Beach consists of the Beach Course, designed by Tony Cashmore and the North Course (formerly known as the Creek Course), designed by Sir Nick Faldo and Tony Cashmore. The Beach Course is widely acclaimed as one of Australia’s Best 20 courses whilst the North Course has continued to grow in stature since its opening in 2004.

Simon Brookhouse, Golf Victoria CEO, spoke about the decision to move the event and believes the new home of the Vic Open will enhance its ability to grow and attract strong fields of competitors.

“We are very excited to continue to grow the tradition of the Vic Open at the wonderful facilities of Thirteenth Beach. With the generous financial support from the State Government and City of Greater Geelong, the move has been made possible and we look forward to making the 2013 Vic Open the best in its 55 year history.

“The Vic Open is the tournament ‘where stars are born’ and is a key PGA Tour of Australasia and ALPG Tour event for some of Australia’s best golfers. The tournament has been a launching place for some of the country’s best golfers with many of sport’s biggest names engraved on the men’s trophy including Greg Norman, Gary Player, Peter Thomson, Kel Nagle, Ian Baker-Finch and Robert Allenby. The Vic Open has also grown accustomed to attracting international players and the tradition continued this year with French woman Joanna Klatten taking out the Championship.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Spring Valley Golf Club for its invaluable contributions and hospitality over the past four years as the host of the Vic Open. Since 2009, Spring Valley and its wonderful staff, committee, members and volunteers have helped uphold the tradition of the Championship and on behalf of Golf Victoria, we sincerely appreciate everything that wonderful golf club has provided,” said Brookhouse.

In 2013, the Vic Open will be a 72-hole tournament for both men and women with a men’s starting field of 144 and a women’s field of 120 players. The women will play on the North course in rounds one and two whilst the men will play on the Beach course. Cuts will be made at the conclusion of round two on Friday 22nd February with the leading 50 players plus ties in each respective field continuing on to the final 36-holes over the Beach course.

A seeded draw will apply for both rounds three and four, whereby men’s groups and women’s groups will alternately commence their rounds. This arrangement culminates with the leading group of men and the leading group of women to be the last to play from the 1st tee on Sunday which in turn ensures a unique finale to the event later in the day, including a joint presentation.

Brian Thorburn, CEO of the PGA of Australia, said the Tour was looking forward to the next chapter of the Victorian Open in February.

“The Victorian Open is an integral tournament on the PGA Tour of Australasia schedule, and we’re excited to see this new era unfold in 2013, this time at Thirteenth Beach.

“With the concurrent staging of both the Men’s and Women’s tournaments, the Victorian Open features one of the most unique formats on the PGA Tour of Australasia, and I’m sure the local Bellarine community will embrace the event come February,” said Thorburn.

Prize money will again be split evenly between the men and women with a minimum of $150,000 on offer for both Championships. Prize money will be allocated in accordance with the respective PGA Tour’s and ALPG Tour’s recommended prize money distribution list.

Warren Sevil, CEO, ALPG Tour said the success of the 2012 event had generated much anticipation for 2013.
"The 2012 Victorian Open’s initiative has been much talked about amongst players, golf fans and golf industry bodies. I don’t believe anyone expected the event to be as well received and as easily delivered, as it proved to be. The finale to the Women’s event was something that will likely never be witnessed again, with a hole-out from the 18th fairway forcing a playoff.

The ALPG Tour looks forward to delivering a first class field of Australian and international stars to the 2013 event and we are excited about Thirteenth Beach which allows one all-encompassing venue to host two 72 hole events, concurrently, again making this a unique format which is sure to capture the interest of golf fans around the world.

We are very grateful to the Victorian Government for their on-going support and also to the City of Greater Geelong who are right behind the 2013 tournament, and to 13th Beach for hosting this Championship. We look forward to working with Golf Victoria and the PGA of Australia in delivering this special event which is sure to appeal to the seasoned golf fans along with junior boys and girls, who have the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the game’s best male and female professionals, on the same stage,” Sevil said.

Golf Victoria in conjunction with Thirteenth Beach looks forward to delivering a memorable and unique event in 2013 and thanks the Victorian Government and City of Greater Geelong for its full support.