Victorian Open tees off at Woodlands Golf Club
BY iseekgolf.com | Von Nida Tour | 2004 Victorian Open | Preview | 22 Jan 2004
Following the considerable efforts of the VGA, Woodlands Golf Club, Mitsubishi Motors, Dodo Internet Services, all Victorian golfers and a number of support sponsors, the 2004 Mitsubishi Motors Victorian Open tees off at Woodlands Golf Club this Friday.
A PGA sanctioned event on the Von Nida Tour with prizemoney of $100,000, the 2004 Championship will be played over 54 holes concluding on Sunday January 25th. First played in 1957 and boasting former winners in Peter Thomson, South African Gary Player, Bruce Devlin, Kel Nagle, David Graham, Greg Norman, Ian Baker-Finch, Robert Allenby and Stephen Leaney, this year’s title has attracted a strong field including many of Australia’s up and coming young professionals and local amateurs.
Heading the list is twenty-three-year old Queenslander Chris Downes who shot to National prominence with a joint second placing at the 2003 Australian Open at Moonah Links. He also finished fourth on the 2003 Australasian PGA Tour Order of Merit with total prizemoney of $284,056.
Fellow Queensland professional Andrew Buckle, England’s Matthew Hazelden and New South Wales Brendan Jones will also be primed to perform after qualifying for the 2004 British Open at Kingston Heath. Jones had a particularly fine 2003 season, winning twice and finishing 6th on the Japan Golf Tour with 79,221,561 yen.
Of the Victorian threats, long-hitting left hander Richard Green looks the most likely to contend after a solid 2003 on both the European and Australasian Tours. A winner of the Dubai Desert Classic in 1999, Green was a victor on the 6097-metre Woodlands layout as an amateur in claiming the 1991 Victorian Junior Championship.
“I remember it well” commented Green as he prepared for his morning round in the Pro-Am. “I shot 74 and came home with a second round 67 to break-through for my first major amateur win”.
Preparing for another year’s foray into Europe, Green was excited about his first tournament for 2004. "The course is in absolutely sensational condition and I’m really looking forward to the event. Next week I go to Thailand for the Johnnie Walker Classic before coming back for the Heineken at Royal Melbourne. I then head off to Europe in April." He said.
The Victorian Open catchphrase of “Where Stars are Born” has been born true on many occasions over the past 47 years, most notably when Amateur Robert Allenby carried off the title in 1991. This year is no exception with twenty-two amateurs competing including Victorian State Team members Luke Hickmott, Marc Leishman, Jon Abbott and Andrew Tampion.
The scene is then set for a tremendous Championship. The par 72 Woodlands layout is in stella condition and with fine and mild weather forecast for all three days, scoring is certain to be low.
Admittance charges for spectators is $5 per day or $10 for a three-day pass. Children under 16 are free. All gate charges received will be donated to charity via Rotary.
Source – Von Nida Tour/VGA