An inside look at Victorian Open field
BY PGA of Australia | Australasian PGA Tour | 2012 Victorian Open | Preview | 04 Jan 2012
For the first time the Men’s Victorian Open and the Women’s Victorian Open are being played simultaneously at the Spring Valley Golf Club.
Both fields are full of some of Australia’s leading professionals which are sure to create excellent golf for all sports fans.
For a look inside each of the fields, a list of five players to watch can be found below.
Craig Parry –
A member of the PGA Tour of Australasia since 1986 Parry has amassed 23 career victories across five different tours including the PGA TOUR, European Tour and Japan Tour. While Parry had a reduced schedule in 2011 playing fewer events than he normally would, he showed signs of his best golf towards the end of the year. He finished second to Brad Kennedy after a play off for the New Zealand Open. Following on from this Parry had a slow start to the JBWere Masters with a 75 but showed his experience and skill following up with scores of 69, 71, 68. Always a contender; look for Parry to turn on a good display of golf at Spring Valley GC this week.
Peter Lonard –
After battling much publicised injuries over the past two years Lonard spent 2011 on the Nationwide Tour where it was a hard slog. Playing 25 events and making just nine cuts which included one top ten and five top 25 finishes he was absent from much of the Australian season of golf. His only appearance in Australia last year was at the JBWere Masters where he showed signs of returning to his form of the past when he shot rounds of 67, 70, 69, 73 to finish tied ninth. Lonard will be keen to keep his Masters form at the Victorian Open this week to start well in 2012.
Paul Sheehan –
Last year’s Victorian Open Champion showed that the Spring Valley Golf Club suited his game when he clinched the win from Matthew Griffin in the last round. He followed this up with a strong performance at the Surf Coast Knockout and a solid season on the Japan Tour recording eight top 25 finishes from 11 starts. Sheehan will be hungry to defend his title and is sure to produce some excellent golf over the week.
James Nitties –
The long hitting Nitties spent 2011 playing on the Nationwide Tour where he finished just outside the Top 25. He enjoyed a solid year on the PGA Tour of Australasia last year finishing tied for sixth both at the New South Wales Open and Victorian Open. The highlights of his year were his two victories, the first coming early at the Victorian PGA Championship where he held off Peter O’Malley for the win. His second win of the year came on the Nationwide Tour at the Midwest Classic. One of the young guns in the field Nitties is sure to feature high on the Vic Open leaderboard.
Matthew Giles –
Having spent a successful amateur career playing in the American collegiate system Giles came back Australia at the end of 2011 to play in his home country as a professional for the first time. Giles was impressive at the Australian PGA Championship presented by Coca-Cola with rounds of 70, 70, 68, 74 to finish tied 14th. He then went on to perform well at the JBWere Masters showing signs of what we can expect from him in the future. Giles shot a 67 in the first round to sit second on the leaderboard behind eventual winner Ian Poulter. After solid performances in the biggest Australian tournaments Giles should feel comfortable at this week’s Victorian Open.
Kristie Smith –
The 22-year-old from Perth is the reigning New Zealand Women’s Open champion and has two other professional victories so far in her short career.
Was the leading Australian on the Ladies European Tour in 2011, finishing 20thon the Money List. Exciting player who can go low as evidenced by her final round 9-under par 64 in the last round to win the Royal Canberra Ladies Classic in 2009.
Frances Bondad –
The 23-year-old from Sydney recorded her first professional victory this year when she won the Sanyo Ladies Open in China. Plays on the Ladies European Tour. Former Australian No.1 amateur who is riding on a wave of confidence and is likely to feature on the leaderboard this week.
Tamie Durdin –
Highest ranked Australian in the field this week from the Rolex Women’s World Rankings. The South Australian plies her trade on the LPGA of Japan, where she won in 2009. Known as one of the longest hitters in women’s golf and is a player to watch.
Karen Lunn –
Former British Open champion and 13 time winner on the Ladies European Tour, leading Australian on the Ladies European Tour for two of the last three years. Strong player whose shot making skills and tournament experience will serve her well this week.
Stacey Keating –
The Victorian has made a very successful transition from amateur golf to professional golf. In her rookie year playing on the Ladies European Tour, she recorded six top ten finishes and easily retained her card by finishing 45thon the Money List. She currently leads the ALPG’s Club Car Series after winning two of the events pre-Christmas. The 2010 Australian Amateur champion is one of the form players heading into this week and will be looking to perform well in front of family and friends.
The Men’s Victorian Open gets underway tomorrow at 7am. Notable groups teeing off include:
7.20am (10th tee):Craig Parry, Paul Sheehan and Matt Stieger (Am)
7.30am (10th tee): Peter Lonard, Mitch Krywulycz and Nathan Holman (Am)
7.30am (1st tee): Kurt Barnes, Jason Norris, Rory Bourke (Am)
7.40am (10th tee): Adam Groom, Matthew Giles, Ryan Woodward (Am)
12.30pm (1st tee): James Nitties, Matthew Griffin, Geoff Drakeford (Am)
The Women’s Victorian Open gets underway at Woodlands Golf Club on Friday at 9am. The ladies will then join the men at Spring Valley Golf Club for the weekend. Notable groups teeing off include:
9.20am (1st tee):Tamie Durdin, Frances Bondad and Min Jee Lee (Am)
9.45am (10th tee): Kristie Smith, Nikki Garrett and Su Hyan Oh (Am)
10.00am (1st tee): Karen Lunn, Lindsay Wright, Ashley Ona (Am)
10.05am (10th tee): Sarah Kemp, Sarah-Jane Smith, Ashley Dewhurst (Am)
10.25am (10th tee): Rebecca Flood, Stacey Keating, Charlotte Thomas (Am)
Since 1957, the Victorian Open has provided a springboard for some of Victoria’s golfing greats including some of this country’s best golfers, Robert Allenby, Aaron Baddeley and Geoff Ogilvy.
This year’s Victorian Open is the first event on the 2012 PGA Tour of Australasia’s schedule and on the back of the successful staging of the 2011 JBWere Masters and The Presidents Cup, builds on Victoria’s reputation as a premier golfing destination.
The 2012 Men’s Victorian Open starts at Spring Valley Golf Club on Thursday with the Women’s Victorian Open to start on Friday at the Woodlands Golf Club before continuing over the weekend in conjunction with the Men’s Open at Spring Valley.
Admission to Woodlands for the first round of the Women’s Open is free while entry to all days of the 2012 Vic Open at Spring Valley is just $8 for a daily adult ticket or $15 for a season pass across the four days. Juniors under 18 years of age are free on all days of the Championship.
The 2012 Men’s and Women’s Victorian Opens are proudly supported by the State Government of Victoria and the City of Kingston with major corporate partners Schweppes, Tabcorp, Drummond Golf, Industrial Workforce and Trader Classified.
Discuss this article in our forums