Local tournament golf continues in Victoria this week as the inaugural staging of The Players Series takes place at Rosebud Country Club. The new event series sees men and women tee it up together on scaled course setups for the same prize purse.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Inaugural event.
COURSE: Rosebud Country Club’s North Course welcomes the PGA Tour of Australasia and WPGA Tour this week. The layout on the Mornington Peninsula is considered by Golf Australia Architecture Editor Mike Clayton to be the most underrated course in the country.
Played across the best land of the 36-hole property, the North Course certainly couldn’t be considered long in the world of tournament golf, with the scaled course for the women a point of interest this week in terms of competitive fairness.
The par-71, which hosted the Australian PGA Championship in 1976 and was ranked 61st on our list of Australia’s Top-100 Public Access courses earlier this year, will test players’ creativity and shot making.
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
Marcus Fraser arrives here fresh off a win last week in Gippsland and will brimming with confidence as he tees it up at a venue that should suit his game down to the ground.
Fraser, whose victory last week was his first since 2016, is typically a straight driver of the golf ball who will set up plenty of birdie chances and can get very hot with the putter when he is on.
Aaron Pike’s last start ended with a win at the NT PGA Championship over his good friend Michael Sim. And the Queensland-based World No.483 will be raring to go for this week, where he will attempt to add a third PGA Tour of Australasia title in four years.
Pike told Golf Australia magazine recently that his victory at the course he grew up playing in the territory came without his best golf, but a far improved mental approach, and it will be interesting to see whether he can bring the same attitude combined with perhaps some better play and once again emerge on top.
RIGHT: Victorian Su Oh is an established LPGA Tour player and should be right amongst things this week at Rosebud. PHOTO: Marianna Massey/Getty Images.
Pike spent some of last week preparing for his upcoming run of tournaments at Peninsula Kingswood Country Club, which will have allowed for plenty of preparation for the sort of short game shots he will require around Rosebud this week.
The effectiveness of creating an even playing field with scaled tees won’t be able to be judged until this event is completed on Sunday, but if the tournament organisers have managed the difficult task, it is hard to imagine Su Oh won’t be somewhere near the pointy end of the leaderboard.
An established LPGA Tour player, Oh grew up playing in Victoria and her close relationship with Clayton should have her prepared for the challenge of Rosebud this week.
Oh is a magnificent putter when she is on, and playing well this week could be just the jump start she needs before heading back to America as she attempts to claim her first LPGA Tour win.
Queenslander Becky Kay turned pro and earnt Symetra Tour status in late 2019, but has had very few chances to earn many cheques since joining the play for pay ranks.
Kay will relish the chance for some tournament golf this week and the chance to hopefully get some momentum going in her career, and with experience playing with the men at the Queensland Open will be perhaps one of the more comfortable players in the unique format.
Round 3: Saturday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 2pm – 5pm)
Round 4: Sunday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 12pm – 5pm)
*AEDT, check local guides