Much to look forward to at TPS Victoria Hosted by Geoff Ogilvy.

By Paul Prendergast.

Photo: PGA of Australia.

It’s been a while since we’ve been able to say ‘Gee, it’s been a while since we’ve had a tournament on our shores’, flush as the calendar has been for professional events these past few weeks.

By the time a now familiar mixed field of amateurs and professionals, young and less young, male and female, tee it up at the TPS Victoria Hosted by Geoff Ogilvy at Rosebud Country Club from February 3, an entire nine days will have elapsed since Karis Davidson took out the inaugural Drummond Golf Melbourne International at Latrobe, while an almost unbearable 11 sunsets will have ticked over since Anthony Quayle bested a tough Nudgee layout to claim the Queensland PGA title.

Jediah Morgan and Su Oh, remember them? Australian PGA and WPGA Championship winners from an ‘age’ ago at Royal Queensland which in itself, heralded the beginning of a highly encouraging few months of home-based tournaments and opportunities for our competition-starved local products.     

And while Oh has returned to the U.S. to begin her 2022 LPGA campaign, and that celebratory glass or two owed to her as the Karrie Webb Cup winner with Karrie herself, the lineup for next week’s latest soiree at Rosebud is again laced with interest.

LPGA-bound Davidson will face an expanded group of combatants from those she conquered at Latrobe with the most ominous inclusion her fellow LPGA rookie, Steph Kyriacou. The two-time Ladies European Tour winner was a late omission from the ‘RQ’ field in January following a positive Covid diagnosis so Rosebud galleries should prepare themselves for the sight of someone absolutely chomping at the bit to get the ’22 season off to a slightly delayed flier.    

On the men’s side, PGA Champion Morgan tees up after a disappointing but perfectly understandable missed cut at Nudgee, following his record-setting heroics at Royal Queensland the previous week. If he can look past any concerns for his Golf Australia handicap having actually gone ‘up’ following his last six rounds on Tour, his chances of contending will be as high as the anticipation among Melbourne spectators in watching him play.   

Expecting recent leader board frequenters in Quayle, Grace Kim, David Micheluzzi, Elvis Smylie, Stephanie Bunque and defending champion Brad Kennedy to not feature at some point during the tournament would be foolhardy, equally so tournament host Ogilvy not rectifying his ‘missed cut by a shot’ last start at RQ with at least a similar showing to his T14 finish here last year.

Regardless of the outcomes, it will be great to have tournament golf back on our radars again after ‘all these days off’. Great to have players playing and opportunities to test their skills in front of healthy galleries in four round events once more. We could certainly get used to this.

We can’t get enough of scenes like those pictured when Morgan saluted his home crowd at Royal Queensland and anything similar at Rosebud will be another shot in the arm for our players – developing or more fully seasoned – moving forward.              

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