Well you are only as good as your last start and Tour Insider has started 2018 with a bang!
Matt 'The Rug' Millar was tipped and won the REBEL NZ Masters a couple of weeks ago and got us off to a winning start.
TI is not so arrogant that he won't acknowledge he received some assistance from others in the first event of the year but fair to say picking a winner when all players were off a spell is a great achievement.
Enough of the gloating and on to this week, the 2018 Oates Vic Open.
What a great event this one is and Golf Victoria should be congratulated on the initiative and success of the event over the years. 2018 shapes to be no different with the course in great shape and all participants keen to get the year started well. TI certainly enjoys seeing the new faces at this event each year.
Ben Eccles - The Greyhound
(Not sure if anyone calls him that neither does TI but I still feel it is appropriate) One of the locals who should know the course well. Ben travelled far and wide in 2017 to hone his craft and at some stage that will pay dividends. Already a winner on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia as an amateur, it won't be long before this guy holds up another trophy.
Matt Millar - The Rug
You could pick this bloke every week and you wouldn't be disappointed. When he hits form he usually holds form for a long period of time. He's won a couple of smaller events on Tour and will be keen to break through in one of the big ones.
Blandy has been a money making machine in Japan in recent years and has done enough to qualify to play on the European Tour in 2018. His finish to 2017 was exceptional and he will surely start as one of the favourites if he can re produce that form at 13th Beach this week.
Another who had a very good 2017 and a local that plays his golf at Curlewis. Regular caddy and partner Ali Orchard will be playing in the Ladies tournament so he will need to get the win without her help on the course but I'm sure some of her home cooking for the week will have him primed for his first win on Tour!
Good recent form has the Kiwi ready to get his first Tour win. He was beaten in a playoff in back-to-back events last year in his homeland and has secured an Asian Tour card for 2018 so his confidence should be sky high. TI would always say to gamble responsibly but this guy has some good odds, massive value.
A great field this week and TI is keen to see how in form amateur David Micheluzzi performs, although small in stature he gives the ball a good ride.
A couple we haven't seen much of lately is young Pros Ryan Ruffels and Brett Coletta and they will be keen to impress as well as newly turned Professionals Cameron John, Ruben Sondjaja and Nick Voke.
Hard to call these guys veterans but with the young Pros mentioned above it makes the likes of Nick Cullen, Brad Kennedy, Matt Griffin and Aron Price look old, but they can all well and truly match it with the young punks!
Should be a great event!
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