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Oates Victorian Open titles decided

The winners Michael Long and Georgia Hall (Photo: Golf Victoria)
47 year old Perth based New Zealander, Michael Long, has won his first professional event since the 2008 West Australian PGA Championship with an impressive win but narrow win at the Oates Victorian Open at 13th Beach Golf Club on the Bellarine Peninsula.

Long defeated Canberra’s Matthew Millar in a playoff for the title, producing a miraculous birdie at the first extra hole after a wild second to the par five could so nearly have been lost.

Not only was he able to find the ball but from long thick grass his pitch finished eight feet from the hole and when he holed it he had turned the tables on Matthew Millar who could have been excused for thinking his more orthodox play in the playoff would have been enough.   

The former Web.Com Tour winner, New Zealand Open Champion, Greg Norman International winner and PGA Tour player, Long is essentially a part time player these days having played just sixteen events in 2015 as he mixes his role as an administrator of a Golf Club in Western Australia with a playing career.

At the age of 47 he is no doubt eyeing a career on the European Senior Tour or possibly the Champions Tour (provided he qualifies) in the USA and the boost his game gets as a result of winning against a field of highly talented younger players will play a role as he looks to the future. He might also think he has plenty of chances on the regular tour in the meantime.

Millar was gallant in defeat and is in the best form of his career having finished third on the 2015 PGA Tour of Australasia with seven top tens in his last ten starts.

Sydney’s Aron Price and West Australian Scott Strange tied for 3rd, two shots behind the playoff while six players tied for 5th, namely New Zealander Josh Geary, Michael Wright, Michael Sim, Ben Eccles and Stephen Dartnall and American Ryan Carter.

The leading amateur was Victorian Brett Coletta.

The Victorian Open for women was taken out by English teenager, Georgia Hall, who broke through for her first win. Although this was not a Ladies European Tour event as such her effort will earn her a start at the upcoming Australian Women’s Open in Adelaide in two weeks’ time.

Hall won by one shot over Denmark’s Nanna Madsen with defending champion Marianna Skarpnord with Taipei amateur Yu Sang Hou alone in 4th position.  

The PGA Tour of Australasia now plays the Victorian PGA Championship while the ALPG now heads to Christchurch in New Zealand for the ISPS Handa New Zealand Women’s Open.  

 

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