Australian Ladies Professional Golf
Olympians Lee and Oh to start favourites at Oates Vic Open
Date: 7th February 2017
By: ALPG

The 2017 Oates Vic Open gets underway tomorrow at 13th Beach Golf Links, with Aussie Olympians Minjee Lee and Su Oh set to start as favourites to lift the title. The women’s field boasts 144 players from 28 different countries, with 32 of them having won tournaments on the world’s major women’s tours.

Lee’s victory at the 2014 Oates Vic Open as a 17-year-old amateur was her first win in a professional tournament and was the springboard to the success she has experienced since, winning 3 tournaments on the US LPGA tour in the past two seasons and rising to 17 in the Rolex Women’s Golf Rankings. The West Australian is the highest ranked player in the field this week by some margin and is the deserved favourite this week.

Lee’s compatriot and team-mate in Rio, Su Oh, also has runs on the board at 13th Beach. At just her first start as a professional here in 2015 she finished 2nd to Norwegian Marianne Skarpnord, and has previous finishes of T6th as a 15-year-old in 2012, T16th in 2013, T4th in 2014 and 6th in 2016. The Victorian obviously has a liking to 13th Beach and it would be no surprise to see her in contention come Sunday

This year marks the sixth version of the combined tournament, where both the men’s and women’s Oates Vic Open are played at the same venue. In 2017 both fields will be playing for identical purses of AU$500,000 as part of a total prize fund of AU$1 million, and it was recently announced that this will increase to $1.3 million in 2018.

The Women’s Oates Vic Open, which has been sole sanctioned by the ALPG for the past five years will also be co-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour in 2017, with the tournament now offering the largest winners cheque on the ALPG Tour with the exception of the ISPS HANDA Women’s Australian Open.

The Ladies European Tour players who will start their 2017 LET season at 13th Beach include the star performers of 2016: Order of Merit winner and Players’ Player of the Year Beth Allen from the USA, Rookie of the Year Aditi Ashok from India and Florentyna Parker of England, who will be joined by 2016 tournament winners Supamas Sangchan from Thailand, Isabelle Boineau of France, Nanna Koerstz Madsen of Denmark and Nuria Iturrios from Spain, as well as recent Solheim Cup players Melissa Reid from England, Sandra Gal from Germany and Caroline Hedwall of Sweden.

Also in the field this week are thirteen players who competed in the Women’s Golf event at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.

Other players expected to contend this week are LPGA stars Pernilla Lindberg from Sweden, Xi Yu Lin from China, Jane Park and Marina Alex from the USA and Australia's Katherine Kirk, who makes her first appearance at 13th Beach this week.

About 13th Beach Golf Links 
Set on the stunning Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria, Thirteenth Beach Golf Links is a 36 hole golf and residential complex boasting two Championship courses.

The Beach Course was opened in December 2001 and designed by Tony Cashmore. The challenging and natural links style course has received many high accolades, including recently voted 28th best course in Australia by Australian Golf Digest magazine and 8th best public accessible course in Australia (Golf Course Guide, 2016).

The Creek Course was designed by Cashmore in conjunction with six-time major championship winner Sir Nick Faldo. Recently rated as 78th best course in Australia by Australian Golf Digest and No.21 best public accessible by the Golf Course Guide, the Creek Course is regularly compared to some of Melbourne’s best Sandbelt courses.

Tournament rounds one and two will be played on the Creek and Beach Courses, with the men’s and women’s fields teeing off in alternate groups from 7:00am.
Rounds three and four will be played on the Beach Course.

Tee times and pairings
Live scoring link 

The final two rounds of the Oates Vic Open will be streamed live on www.vicopengolf.com

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