Tour News

Vic Open Format Adopted By Top Tours

(Photo: Paul Shire)
It’s taken seven years but it seems the innovative format of the Vic Open will finally be copied with the European and Ladies European Tours announcing a mixed event, with equal purses, to be played in Scotland in August.

The European Team Championship will feature two separate competitions, a two-player team matchplay event for men and another for women followed by a mixed foursomes strokeplay event featuring teams of four.

The tournament will be played at the Gleneagles course, host of the 2014 Ryder Cup, in conjunction with a multi-sport European Championships being staged in Glasgow in August.

Qualification for the teams will be via the men’s Official World Golf ranking and the women’s Rolex Rankings.

The tournament will be played the same week as the fourth men’s major of the year, the PGA Championship, though in a clear week on the LPGA schedule.

“This summer’s European Golf Team Championships will be a totally unique event and we are extremely pleased that the men and women will play competitively together for equal prize money,” said Mark Lichtenhein, Chairman of the Ladies European Tour who co-sanctuoend the Vic Open for the second time in 2018.

"As we have seen through the Olympic Games in Rio, the recent Oates Vic Open in Australia and the announcement to have mixed teams in the GolfSixes in the UK, there is a tremendous public appetite to see men and women competing.

“The format is terrific and the fact that the event will be shown throughout Europe via free-to-air television presents an unprecedented opportunity to bring new fans to the game.”

Men’s European Tour head Keith Pelley also sang the praises of the mixed format saying it was just one of a number of ways the Tour is hoping to attract new fans.

“There is a need for golf to embrace new formats and engage a wider audience,” he said.

“And following our recent announcement about the inclusion of female players in the revolutionary GolfSixes tournament, the European Championships presents yet another innovative opportunity to break new ground on a number of fronts.

“The opportunity to represent your country is a great honour that many players experience at amateur level, but the opportunities are fewer when they become professional.

“Add to this the match play element, and of course the intriguing prospect of the mixed team event, it all points to being a fantastic event for spectators at Gleneagles and those watching on free-to-air television across Europe.”

The Vic Open moved to a combined format in 2012 in which both men’s and women’s state titles are played at the same course on the same days for equal prizemoney.

Since moving to 13th Beach Golf Links on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula in 2013 the tournament has grown to attract a particularly strong Ladies European Tour co-sanctioned women’s field.

Minjee Lee, Australia’s top player at 16th in the Rolex Rankings, won the women’s tournament last month while Tasmania’s Simon Hawkes claimed the men’s.


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