Monday, 11 February 2019
Spectators enjoy the ISPS Handa Vic Open  (Getty Images)
Spectators enjoy the ISPS Handa Vic Open (Getty Images)

There is nothing quite like the ISPS Handa Vic Open.

David Law and Celine Boutier took home the same prize money after winning their respective tournaments, there was the first ever mixed group taking to the course while spectators and dogs got up close and personal with the golfers on the course.

Men and women were playing over the same course and for the same prize money in separate tournaments at 13th Beach Golf Club in Geelong, Victoria.

And they were even playing in the same group on Saturday when Gavin Moynihan, Dale Williamson and Manon De Roey played their respective third rounds together.

Moynihan said it was "great" to be a member of the historic trio while De Roey wrote on Instagram she was "honoured to be part of the first ever mixed group at @vicopengolf. Hoping for more opportunities like this for the future".

The setup of the event meant spectators were able to get even closer to the action. With no ropes on the course, people were able to walk down the fairways and mix with the players.

Andrew 'Beef' Johnston was a fan.

"It's fun with no ropes, it's very different, especially trying to get from green to tee as well, weaving in and out of people," he said. "It's nice to have that. Sometimes it takes your mind off it, not thinking too much. It's good."

This allowed Canada's Alena Sharp to make a furry friend on the course - and it reminded her of her own dog back at home.

It was not just the spectators and their pets who enjoyed the week.

David Drysdale thought "it was quite cool", while Lucas Herbert encouraged fans to come and taste the event, saying: "You can watch it on TV but you've kind of got to come here and experience it to see what it's really like. I think it's really unique."

Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey added: "It’s great, I haven’t met a lot of the women because we’re obviously separate but I played practice rounds with some of them and talked to them. It’s a good atmosphere, it’s really chilled, people walking down the fairways and it’s certainly good for the game."

And the final word goes to Major Champion Geoff Ogilvy, who said: "The guys and girls thing just makes sense. Two real golf tournaments played at the same time on the same - like the Australian Open tennis - it makes sense."

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