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Covid restriction force Vic Open 2021 cancellation

POSTED ON October 22, 2020 @ 7:00 am

Vic Open 2021 cancelled

Yet another major Australian golf even has been taken of the calendar as Covid-19 forces the cancellation of Vic Open scheduled for February, 2021.

Another one bits the dust

This follows last week’s regretful cancellation of the summer’s other premier golf events – the Australian PGA Championship, Australian Open and the Women’s Australian Open.

The three organisations involved – Golf Australia, the PGA of Australia and the ALPG – hoped to find an arrangement to preserve the Vic Open, but the impacts of COVID-19, most notably in assembling international fields and ensuring the safety of players, spectators and officials, has forced the decision.

“This is another incredibly difficult decision that follows a very challenging week in the history of the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia,” Nick Dastey, the PGA’s Tournaments Director Australasia, said.

Disappointing decisions

The men’s Vic Open dates to 1957 while the women’s Vic Open began in 1988, went into abeyance in 1992 and resumed in 2012 when the ground-breaking mixed concept was launched, including men and women in the same event at the same venue.

The concept has won worldwide applause in the golf fraternity and the Vic Open’s prizemoney grew from $150,000 in 2012 to $3 million this year at 13th Beach on the Bellarine Peninsula, with equal prizemoney for men and women.

“These are disappointing decisions to make, no doubt,” said James Sutherland, Golf Australia’s chief executive.

“We’re very proud of how far the Vic Open came since the mixed concept was put together, and we’re more than aware of how popular this event has become. We’ve tried to make it happen, but the call had to made.”

The last time the event was not played was 2008.

Lack of certainty

Sutherland said the major issues in the decision to cancel included provision of a safe environment for the players during a pandemic, and lack of certainty on quarantine and border issues, leaving the officials with no chance of drawing the type of international field that the event deserved.

“We’ve taken advice from the relevant domestic government authorities and looked at the contingencies including the creation of a ‘bubble’, but they are not viable. It left us in a position where our field strength would have been severely compromised.

“We’re disappointed for golf fans and for all the hundreds of enthusiastic volunteers who have helped make the Vic Open so successful, and we’re disappointed for the players who lose an opportunity to ply their trade.

“However, we will view it as temporary and what we need to do now is to focus on the future of all our events and work towards getting them back better than ever for the summer of 2021/22 and beyond.”

Related Articles:

Australia’s three biggest golf events postponed

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