by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Golf Australia Express : GA Express 292 US Open wrap
VIC OPEN – A BRILLIANT CONCEPT NOT WITHOUT ITS LIMITATIONS I T could make a case for being the most interesting golf tournament in the world – and last week’s announcement that the purse would be more than doubled for both the men’s and women’s Vic Opens was rightly lauded in all corners of the globe. Formerly the innovative concept, which sees men and women play individual events on the same course for the same purse, has struck a chord with players and fans alike and organisers are to be applauded for the bold experiment that has paid big dividends. But what’s perhaps more interesting about the Vic Open is the fact it hasn’t been replicated anywhere else in the world. Despite being almost universally declared one of the game’s best events (and personal experience confirms it as the most spectator friendly tournament in Australia) it is yet to be copied. The PGA Tour and LPGA Tour hinted last year they were considering a mixed event but to date nothing has come of it. The truth is that while the Vic Open is a brilliant concept, and an event to be cherished, it also has its limitations. In a golf sense the fact that a host venue with 36 holes is required, and that both fields are cut to just 30 players for the weekend, are issues (though admittedly not insurmountable). But as with all things in professional golf one need look no further than money (and scheduling) to find the main reason. Golf tournaments succeed or fail on the presence of name players and while a $1.5 million purse will attract some of the game’s top women in 2019, that’s not the case for the men. With the Women’s Australian Open to be played the week after 13th Beach, it’s easy to imagine some of the LPGA’s top stars will make the journey to the Bellarine Peninsula. There is, however, no incentive for the men either financially or in terms of scheduling. Despite the new purse being bigger than the Australian Open and equal to the Australian PGA, it is not significant enough to attract any of the game’s marquee names. The likes of Jordan Spieth and Sergio Garcia, the main drawcards for the Open and PGA respectively in 2017, tee up for appearance fees not purses and all of Australia’s best-known golfers are overseas in February plying their trade in the United States or Europe. So to those wondering why this brilliant concept hasn’t yet been copied elsewhere, take all the above issues and magnify them by a factor of several hundred. Organising a professional golf tournament at any level is difficult and the bigger the names the more difficult it becomes. While we would all love to see a Vic Open style tournament featuring the very best men and women players in the world, don’t hold your breath waiting for it to happen. Just because it’s a brilliant – and yes, revolutionary – concept doesn’t mean it’s feasible to get it off the ground. Not in the short term, anyway. VIEW THE ROD MORRI is an award-winning writer and podcast presenter. He hosts The iseekgolf.com Podcast weekly. CLICK here to listen. Dimi Papadatos and England’s Mel Reid won the Oates Vic Open alongside each other in 2017.
GA Express 291
GA Express 293 Peter Thomson tribute