ISPS Handa Vic Open 

Tournament Preview – 6th February –9th February 2020

 – Johnny Bell

Tournament Notes

  • Held at 13th Beach Golf Links, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
  • Annual state championship in Victoria
  • The tournament moved to 13th Beach Golf Links in 2013
  • In 2019, the event became co-sanctioned by the European Tour
  • The Men’s Vic Open – 144 man field
  • The tournament features a double cut 
    • 36 hole cut – features the top 60 and ties 
    • 54 hole cut – features the top 35 and ties 
  • The Men’s Vic Open is played along side the Women’s Vic Open
13th Beach Golf Links aerial

The Course

Held at 13th Beach Golf Links over two courses

  • The Beach and Creek Courses are both played on Thursday and Friday
  • Only the Beach Course is played on Saturday and Sunday 
  • 2019 Winning score – 18
  • 2019 Cut line -5
    • Secondary Cut -7

Previous winners

2019David Law-18
2018Simon Hawkes-14
2017Dimitrios Papadatos-16
2016Michael Long-13
2015Richard Green-16
2014Matthew Griffin-7
2013Matthew Giles-13

The Field

Prior to 2019, the field at the Oates Vic Open (with a few exceptions) was comprised entirely of Australian golfers. Now known as the ISPS Handa Vic Open, the winner receives 20 OWGR points. Despite several European Tour regulars now entered into the field, the 2019 ISPS Handa Vic Open only featured a field strength of 51. Last year Scotsman’s David Law shot a final round 66 to overtake Australian golfers Brad Kennedy and Wade Ormsby for the win.

The field at the 2020 the ISPS Handa Vic Open is led by the betting favourite and three time champion on the Japan Tour Golf, Brad Kennedy. Other notable entries include Lucas Herbert, who is coming off his first European Tour victory at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and the 79th ranked golfer in the world Hoatong Li.

Quick Notes – Top of the betting board 

Brad Kennedy (+1400) – Runner-up in 2019 and finished T19 in 2018. Kennedy most recently played in the Australian PGA Championship and finished in T19. 

Lucas Herbert (+1400) – Herbert followed up his first career European Tour victory at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic by posting T27 finish last week in Saudi Arabia. Herbert finished T37 and missed the secondary cut at last years Vic Open but has a T6 finish back in 2017.

Haotong Li (+1400) – Li will be making his debut at 13th Beach Golf Links. Li is coming off a T21 finish in Saudi Arabia and a disappointing missed cut the week before in Dubai.

Jason Scrivener (+1600) – Finished T5 last year and has made two straight cuts but struggled to get anything going on the weekend, finishing T59 in Dubai and T58 in Abu Dhabi. At the 2019 ISPS Handa Vic Open, Scrivener ranked first in both SG: Approach and SG: Tee to Green.

Min Woo Lee (+1800) A popular pick last week in Saudi Arabia, Lee could not recover from a terrible back nine in round one, in which he recorded six bogeys in a span of eight holes. Lee finished T6 as an amateur at the 2017 Vic Open but missed the cut in 2018. Recently, Lee finished T3 at the Australian PGA Championship.  His older sister and the ninth ranked women’s golfer in the world Minjee Lee is a two-time winner of the Women’s Vic Open.

Ryan Fox (+2000) – Finished T37 last year, missing the secondary cut. Fox is entering this week coming off a T27 finish in Saudi Arabia and a T30 finish the week before in Dubai.

Wade Ormsby (+2000) – After missing the cut here in 2017, Ormsby returned last year and finished in a tie for second. Ormsby is coming off consecutive missed cuts but has a recent win at the 2020 Hong Kong Open.

Sam Horsfield (+2500) – Horsfield will be making his debut at 13th Beach Golf Links and is coming off consecutive missed cuts in Saudi Arabia and Dubai.

Louis De Jager (+2500) – Finished in a T56 last year, missing the secondary cut and is coming in with consecutive top 10 finishes on the Sunshine Tour

John Catlin (+2800) – Making his debut at 13th Beach Golf Links. Catlin is coming off a second place finish on the Asian Development Tour at the Boonchu Ruangkit Championship. 

Andrew Dodt (+2500) – Finished in T49 last year, missing the secondary cut. Dodt recently finished T41 at the SMBC Singapore Open.

Connor Syme (+2800) – The 2016 Australian Amateur Champion has four European Tour starts, finishing T52 and T22, T9 and T11. Syme missed the secondary cut at the 2019 Vic Open, finishing T49.

Key Stats

Look for golfers with a good short game, last years winner David Law led the field with 3.53 strokes gained putting and finished 15th in scrambling. Looking further into the top 10 finishers from 2019, other corollary stats included SG: Approach and SG: Tee to Green.

 Official Selections

+1600 Jason Scrivener

At +1600 Scrivener is my official pick from the top of the betting board. Last year Scrivener finished T5 and ranked first in both SG: Approach and SG: Tee to Green. In targeting golfers with a good short game, Scrivener ranked 13th on the European Tour last year in Scrambling. He also ranked top 10 in SG: Approach and SG: Tee to Green. If Scrivener can find a hot putter this week, he should have a great chance to make both cuts and contend on Sunday.

+8000 Nick Flanagan

At +8000 Flanagan is my official pick down the betting board. Winner of the 2003 U.S. Amateur, Flanagan became the first non-American to win since 1971. He is a four-time winner on the Challenge Tour and finished T10 at last years Vic Open and T13 in 2018. Flanagan is also, coming off a T3 finish at the Australian PGA Championship. At +8000 Flanagan offers winning upside, add the each way for a top five finish at +2000. 

Also consider: 

At +14000 Steven Jeffress has made every cut at 13th Beach Golf Links with two top 10 finishes, when released the odds are released, Jeffress makes for appealing bet for a top 5 or top 10 finishes

Draft Kings 

Play –

Jason Scrivener (10,800) – Finished T5 last year. Scrivener ranked 13th on the European Tour last year in Scrambling. Also, ranked top 10 in SG: Approach and SG: Tee to Green

Brad Kennedy (10,600) – Runner-up last year and T19 finish in 2018.

Lucas Herbert (10,400) – Great recent form, Herbert finished T37 last year and T6 in 2018. Herbert ranked 12th on the European Tour last year in SG: Putting

Connor Syme (8,900) – In four European Tour starts, Syme has finished T52 and T22, T9 and T11. Syme missed the secondary cut as an Amateur at the 2019 Vic Open, finishing T49.

Nick Cullen (8,100) – Cullen has made 6/7 cuts at 13th Beach Golf Links, including two top 10 finishes. Cullen is coming off a T15 finish at the Australian PGA Championship. 

Matthew Griffin (8,000) – The 2014 winner of the Vic Open, Griffin has made 6/7 cuts at 13th Beach Golf Links.

Nick Flanagan (7,500) – Flanagan finished T10 last year and T13 in 2018. Flanagan is coming off a T3 finish at the Australian PGA Championship.

Ben Eccles (7,200) – Eccles has three top 10 finishes at 13th Beach Golf Links in the last five years.

Steven Jeffress (7,000) – Jeffress has made 7/7 cuts at 13th Beach Golf Links, including two top 10 finishes.

David Bransdon (6,800) – Bransdon missed the secondary cut in 2018 but is otherwise perfect making every cut at 13th Beach Golf Links, including two top 10 finishes in the last three years.

Matt Stieger (6,800) – Runner-up in 2014, Stieger has made 4/5 cuts at 13th Beach Golf Links.

Jason Norris (6,800) – Norris is 5/5 making the cut at 13th Beach Golf Links.

Aaron Townsend (6,400) – Townsend is 5/6 making the cut at 13th Beach Golf Links.