2016 Oates Vic Open launches

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Photo: Mark Heenan

The Grovedale Hotel has played host to the Official Launch of the 2016 Oates Vic Open. The 2016 event will be played between 4-7 February at Thirteenth Beach Golf Links for the fourth consecutive year.

Members of Local and State Government, event sponsors, tournament staff and media representatives all gathered to celebrate the beginning of what is set to be another thrilling event on the Victorian sporting calendar.

The 2015 event culminated with several memorable highlights including eventual champion, Richard Green’s hole-in-one albatross on the par-4 15th during the Pro-Am and the fairy tale finish when he joined his victorious fiancé, Marianne Skarpnord atop the podium after a two-hole playoff with 2014 Australian Masters Champion, Nick Cullen.

The launch has set the benchmark for a bigger and better Oates Vic Open in 2016. Up to 132 men and 132 women will be vying for their share of the increased $600,000 prize pool, split equally between the fields.

Golf Victoria CEO Simon Brookhouse is confident that the event will continue to improve upon recent success.

“Since taking the event down to the Greater Geelong region it has experienced a complete resurgence. The mounting crowds have been a strong indicator of the quality of golf and also the spectator experience provided at Thirteenth Beach,” said Brookhouse.

“We’d like to thank the State Government, City of Greater Geelong, naming rights sponsor Oates and our other tournament partners for their ongoing support of this premier Australian golfing event. We look forward to raising the bar again in 2016.”

The event will remain sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia and the Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG) Tour. PGA of Australia CEO Brian Thorburn says the tournament format offers a unique experience for the players.

“The Oates Vic Open is a wonderful week of golf for spectators and players alike. Our Professionals all enjoy their week competing alongside the stars of the ALPG, it provides a point of difference to other events they experience on the PGA Tour of Australasia,” said Thorburn.

“The Oates Vic Open has always been well supported by the Tour Professionals and draws marquee players to Thirteenth Beach each year; I believe this will be bolstered by the increase in prize purse. I commend Golf Victoria on their vision and hard work to continually grow the Oates Vic Open.”

ALPG CEO Karen Lunn was equally thrilled to have the Oates Vic Open on the ALPG tournament schedule for another year.

“The ALPG is delighted once again to be a sanctioning partner of the 2016 Oates Vic Open. Golf Victoria have created a unique event with the men and women playing together at the same venue, a concept that has proven to be incredibly popular with the players, fans and sponsors alike,” said Lunn.

“Each year the Oates Vic Open continues to grow and go from strength to strength, and has firmly established itself as one of the premier golf tournaments in Australia. I would also like to pay particular thanks to the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, Geelong City Mayor Darryn Lyons, and naming rights sponsor Oates for their continued support.”

For more information on the tournament, visit www.golfvic.org.au/vicopen.

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