The Vic Open will feature as part of The Open Qualifying Series for the first time following the cancellation of the New Zealand Open due to on-going travel restrictions.
The Vic Open is taking place at the 13th Beach Golf Links, near Melbourne, from 10-13 February and is organised by Golf Australia and sanctioned by the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia.
Three places in The 150th Open at St Andrews will be awarded to the leading three players not already exempt who finish in the top 10 and ties.
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A, said: “We were sorry to hear that continuing travel restrictions led to the New Zealand Open being cancelled and thank New Zealand Golf for its support and the efforts made to stage the event.
“The Vic Open is a leading event and we are grateful to Golf Australia, the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia and the Victorian Government for agreeing to our request to offer players the opportunity to qualify for The 150th Open through it. We look forward to seeing who emerges from the field next week to take their place at St Andrews.”
James Sutherland, Chief Executive Officer of Golf Australia, said: “As we enter the final stages of preparation at 13th Beach, this is very exciting news for our tournament, and such a wonderful opportunity for the eligible players. Thanks to The R&A for their swift decision-making and support following the unfortunate cancellation of the New Zealand Open.”
Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula, said: “This year’s Vic Open will have an even bigger drawcard, with the top three players gaining entry into The Open Championship at St Andrews.”
A minimum of 46 places in The Open are available through The Open Qualifying Series, which provides golfers with opportunities to qualify at events around the world on the PGA TOUR, DP World Tour, ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia, Asian Tour, Korean Tour, Japan Golf Tour and Sunshine Tour.