ISPS Handa Vic Open: antipodes parity

PRESENTATION – The only stage of the European Tour where men rub shoulders with the ladies of the LPGA Tour on the same route, the Vic Open does not attract stars. Two members of the world top 100 (Herbert and Li) are at the start. Robin Sciot-Siegrist is the only committed Frenchman.

After the Middle East and a first salvo from three high-end tournaments (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Saudi Arabia), the European Tour heads for Australia for an atypical test. The ISPS Handa Vic Open, second of its name, has the particularity of welcoming both the men of the European Tour and the PGA Tour of Australasia and the women of the LPGA Tour and the ALPGA Tour.

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For four days, this meeting with less than a million euros in funding is organized on the same route, the 13th Beach Golf Links, in Barwon Heads, south of Melbourne. 144 players and as many with these ladies will challenge the two courses of the Beach Course and the Creek Course. Established last year, the rule stipulates that the endowments are strictly identical between boys and girls. Like Scottish David Law and Frenchwoman Céline Boutier, winners in 2019, there will still be two winners on the same podium on Sunday. Given the plethora of fields, a first cut will be effective after 36 holes before a second on the evening of the third round. The last round will offer alternate starts, a group of players preceding a group of players and vice versa. The only difference is that the tee times for members of the LPGA and the ALPGA Tour will be advanced.

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However, very few headliners are leaving this week. Only three golfers who finished in the top 115 of the 2019 Race (excluding Australians) make the trip at antipodes: the American Sean Crocker and the English Sam Horsfield and Ashley Chesters. We can also quote the two boarders of the world top 100, the Australian Lucas Herbert, 84th, victorious less than two weeks ago in the playoff of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, and the Chinese Haotong Li, 79th, in lack of benchmarks for many months. Add to this duo some “locals” like Wade Orsmby, Min Woo Lee (brother of Minjee Lee, n ° 9 worldwide) and Jason Scrivener, 32nd in the Race last exercise.

On the tricolor side, there were three in 2019 (Bourdy, Sordet, Saddier). Only Robin Sciot-Siegrist defends the French colors this time. The left-hander of Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche, 8th in Mauritius on December 8, remains on a missed cut at the South African Open in early January.

ISPS Handa Vic Open (European Tour) – € 971,557 in funding

Players to watch

David Law (Eco), Lucas Herbert (Aus), Hoatong Li (Chn), Hideto Tanihara (Jap), Ryan Fox (NZ), Wade Ormsby (Aus), Min Woo Lee (Aus), Jason Scrivener (Aus), Sean Crocker (USA), Sam Horsfield (Ang), Darius Van Driel (PB), Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez (Esp), Sami Valimaki (Fin), Joel Sjöholm (Sue), Louis De Jager (AfS).

The committed French

Robin Sciot-Siegrist.

To follow the ISPS Handa Vic Open (European Tour) on television:

Thursday February 6, 1st round: 5:00 am (Golf +)

Friday February 7, 2nd round: 5 a.m. (Golf +)

Saturday February 8, 3rd round: 3:30 am (Golf +)

Sunday February 9, 4th round: 2:30 am (Golf +)