Eight time LPGA winner Rachel Hetherington comeback to tournament golf takes the next step when she tees it up tomorrow on the Creek Course at 13th Beach Links in Barwon Heads.
While the Barwon Heads community said farewell to their home town favourite Cadel Evans last week-end, this week they have welcomed one of the most recognisable Australian female professional golfers in Hetherington.
The 42-year-old is amongst the 115 strong field competing in the $250,000 Oates Victorian Open being contested over the Creek and Beach Courses.
Hetherington who retired from the LPGA back in October 2010 is making a return to the ALPG Tour and has been completing in the Club Car Series. The Series was not only been a great way to ease back into competition golf but more importantly she has been earning value dollars to play her way into the ALPG Tour's flagshp event the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open later this month.
It's Hetherington’s first visit to Barwon Heads and appearance at the event,
“I have heard only good things about the concept and expect it is a unique opportunity for spectators to watch the best of the men and women playing at the same venue at the same time.”
When asked about her form coming into her first major tournament, she responded “Pretty good, yeah I don’t really have too much experience for the last four years to base any form on, but the few the last few events in the Club Car Series I played, I was really happy with the way I played. “
Hetherington has one of the best caddies on her bag this week, Mike Patterson. Patterson arrived on Tuesday night from America; he caddies for Hetherington’s good friend, Karrie Webb.
Home town favourite Stacey Keating, Nikki Campbell, Nikki Garrett and young gun Su Oh will be ones to watch along with Hetherington from an Australian perspective.
Dame Laura Davies will lead the international charge for the Vic Open title. Other international players to watch include Holly Clyburn, Beth Allen and Kylie Walker.
The increased support of the State Government has seen the purse grow from $150,000 last year to $250,000, which is fantastic for the tournament and a testament to Golf Victoria hard work.