Dimitrios Papadatos was crowned the 2017 ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia Player of the Year and this week begins the first of two title defences in 2018 when the Oates Vic Open tees off from 1-4 February at 13th Beach Golf Links.
Papadatos began his 2017 season with a two shot victory at 13th Beach Golf Links at last year’s Oates Vic Open before he won his third Professional title at the TX Civil & Logistics WA PGA Championship in Kalgoorlie leading to him being named the Player of the Year during the Greg Norman Medal Dinner at the Australian PGA Championship.
“I was very happy to receive that, I obviously had a good start to the year with a couple of wins and a good finish in New Zealand,” said Papadatos.
“It wasn’t the back end of the season that I was hoping for but I’ve done a bit of work in the last month so hopefully I can turn it around this week.”
After a busy international schedule playing predominately on the European Challenge Tour as well as events on the Asian Tour, the 26-year-old took some well deserved time off before beginning his 2018 season this week.
“I’ve been pretty relaxed, I haven’t been playing the best, I did a bit of fishing over Christmas hopefully that will help me out,” joked Papadatos.
“I well and truly switched off for a couple of weeks, but the last month or so has just been trying to sort everything out in my full game, a bit of exercise and some more practice, just trying to iron out the creases.”
The New South Welshman is no stranger to defending one of the bigger events on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia having his first Professional victory at the 2014 ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open; he says being a defending champion doesn’t mean much when the next tournament rolls around, particularly this early in the season.
“There are some expectations given I won last year and that sort of stuff but I don’t really worry about that too much,” added Papadatos.
“Everyone starts off the same, especially this early in the year. Each week is a fresh week.”
The Oates Vic Open signals Papadatos’ first competitive hit out of the year and while he admittedly says he hasn’t hit peak form, he’s looking forward to seeing how he measures up prior to a run of five tournaments on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
“It’ll be good to see where my game is at this week. I didn’t have any smaller events leading in to this week and this one’s a pretty big one to start off with so you want to be pretty sharp straight up,” added Papadatos.
“It’s a tough field this week and tough courses but hopefully my game is on.”
The Oates Vic Open is one of the most unique Professional golf tournaments in the world with both the men and women playing on the same courses in the same week.
This year the tournament’s growing popularity has seen the prize money increased to AUD $1.3 million to be split equally between the men and women.
“It’s great and with the increase in prize money the tournament’s only going to get bigger and bigger,” added Papadatos.
“There are grandstands out here this year so I’m expecting some pretty big crowds which is always nice as a player, I’m looking forward to it.”
The Oates Vic Open will be played from 1-4 February at 13th Beach Golf Links with a field of 144 players vying for a prize purse of AUD $650,000.
The winner will receive Official World Golf Ranking Points and become fully exempt on to the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia for the remainder of this season plus a further two years.
Those unable to make the trip to 13th Beach Golf Links this week will still be able to watch the weekend’s action with the return of the Oates Vic Open live stream through PGA TV
For more information on the broadcast schedule, visit pga.org.au.
Headlines at a glance
Professionals return to Rockhampton
All eyes will be on the Rockhampton Golf Club this week as the Ladbrokes Pro-Am Series arrives in Central Queensland for the 2019 Ian Weigh Toyota Roc...
Rumford’s virtual prep for BMW International
West Australian Brett Rumford has turned to virtual reality to sharpen his game ahead of this week’s BMW International Open in Munich.
PGA TOUR China
Macpherson bolsters Aussie contingent in China
Victorian Bryden Macpherson makes his return to the PGA TOUR Series-China season this week as one of nine Australians contesting the Huangshan Champio...