Vic Open given green light for 13th Beach return

December 14, 2021 BY

The Vic Open will return to the Bellarine after a year's absence due to COVID-19. Photo: MICHAEL CHAMBERS

GOLF Australia has confirmed today that the ground-breaking Vic Open will return after a year’s absence to the 13th Beach Golf Links in Barwon Heads from February 10 to 13.

The mixed-gender Open, which was well-received around the golf world for its innovative format, will be part of both the WPGA Tour and the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia.

The tournament is expected to attract a fascinating lineup of men’s and women’s events that includes the Australian PGA Championship, the WPGA Championship and four legs of the Webex Players Series.

“13th Beach is delighted to once again welcome the Vic Open to our courses and club,” chair of 13th Beach, Grant Phelps, said.

“Our members and the wider local community are eagerly anticipating the return of this important and unique event, which attracts the attention of the golfing world, and we all look forward to embracing the tournament after an enforced absence in 2021.”

The venue situated beside Barwon Heads boasts two world-class courses and one that has embraced the Vic Open since 2013.

2022 will also mark the ninth consecutive playing of the Vic Open on the Bellarine.

Golf Australia chief executive James Sutherland thanked the Victorian Government for providing support to make it possible for the tournament to run again.

“We’re obviously very proud of the Vic Open,” Mr Sutherland said.

“We are excited about the 2022 event after last year’s absence and wanted to get it happening again because it’s far too good to let go.”

Fields of 144 men and 72 women will commence Thursday, with the top 35 men and 35 women and ties making it through to Sunday.

Minimum prize-money has been set at $820,000, with equal prize pools of $410,000 each for men and women.

2020 Vic Open winners Min Woo Lee and Hee Young Park stand with their trophies. Photo: MICHAEL CHAMBERS

These totals make it the largest women’s prize purse event in Australia and the second largest prize purse event for the men in Australia this summer.

“The Vic Open returning shows major events are back in Victoria and we are set for plenty of action in 2022,” Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula said.

“The Vic Open has a unique spirit of equality and it is another demonstration of why Victoria is Australia’s premier sporting state.”

The likes of Peter Thomson, Greg Norman and current Australian brother and sister stars Minjee Lee and Min Woo Lee are past winners of the Vic Open which has been both a men’s and women’s tournament with equal prizemoney since 2012.