Mel Reid with the Oates Vic Open salver in 2017
The Ladies European Tour’s 2018 season will commence with four tournaments in Australia in a significant development which strengthens the circuit’s partnership with the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour.
For the second consecutive year, the season will start with the Oates Vic Open, which is currently the only professional event in the world where men and women compete on the same courses concurrently, for the same money.
A host of Australia’s and the world’s most talented golfers will compete at 13th Beach Golf Links in Barwon Heads on February 1-4. The shared prize pool will be greater than ever at A$1.3 million, with the women’s and men’s fields, which will feature the defending champions Mel Reid and Dimi Papadatos respectively, to compete for A$650,000 each, up A$150,000 each on last year.
The Oates Vic Open will kickstart a huge five weeks for women’s golf in Australia, with the ActewAGL Canberra Classic to be held at the newly redesigned Royal Canberra Golf Club, one of the finest and most picturesque courses in Australia, on February 9-11. Several high-profile players have already confirmed their participation in the tournament, including Jiyai Shin, Dame Laura Davies, Katherine Kirk and Sarah Jane Smith.
The winners of the Oates Vic Open and the ActewAGL Canberra Classic, as well as the leading money-winner across both events, will qualify to play in the following week’s ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open at Kooyonga in Adelaide on Feb 15-18.
Two further tournaments in New South Wales, the Australian Ladies Classic – Bonville, to be played at Bonville Golf Resort on February 22-25, followed by the Women’s NSW Open at Coffs Harbour Golf Club on March 1-4, will offer the opportunity for LET members to compete in at least four events in five weeks in early 2018.
“We are delighted to co-sanction the Oates Vic Open for the second consecutive year and to strengthen our partnership with the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour through three additional co-sanctioned tournaments,” said the LET’s chairman Mark Lichtenhein. “I would like to thank the ALPG, as well as all the event sponsors including the Victorian, ACT and NSW Governments, Oates, ActewAGL and Bonville, for their huge support of women’s professional golf. Australia is known for supporting women in sport and getting behind major sporting events and we could not think of a better place to start 2018.”
Again in 2018, there will be a live stream from the weekend’s action at the Oates Vic Open, broadcast in HD from vicopengolf.com and Facebook LIVE and from the final round of the ActewAGL Canberra Classic, which has been made possible through the support of the ACT Government via their ACT event fund. In addition, the ALPG and LET are working together to maximise the distribution of the coverage from the Oates Vic Open and Australian Ladies Classic – Bonville, to their international broadcast clients.
Speaking at a press conference today, announcing the Australian Ladies Classic – Bonville and the Women’s NSW Open, ALPG CEO Karen Lunn said that she was looking forward to welcoming some of the best international talent to Australia in the New Year.
LET AUSTRALIAN SWING 2018:
Oates Vic Open
13th Beach Golf Links
Feb 1-4, 2018
ActewAGL Canberra Classic
Royal Canberra Golf Club
Feb 9-11, 2018
Australian Ladies Classic – Bonville
Bonville Golf Resort
Feb 22-25, 2018
Women’s NSW Open
Coffs Harbour Golf Club
March 1-4, 2018