Everything you need to know from our week Down Under at the 2020 ISPS Handa Vic Open.
With its mixed format and rope free fairways, the ISPS Handa Vic Open is an event like no other on the European Tour.
Here, we take a look at all the action and some things you may have missed from an eventful week at 13th Beach Golf Club
Min Woo leads the way
It was clear Min Woo Lee had a big future ahead of him when he reached the quarter-finals of the 2018 ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth as a 19-year-old amateur on his European Tour debut. Just one day short of two years later he claimed his maiden title with an assured performance on home soil. The 21-year-old was in control throughout round four and when a bogey on the 17th cut his lead to one and piled on the pressure, he duly birdied the last. "Just being crowned the Vic Open champion, it's pretty special," he said. "As my first win, it's pretty sweet. I always knew I had the ability to be one of the top players in the world and I think I've shown that this week, for myself as well, that I could play under pressure and play pretty comfortably and shoot a low score. I'm not going to say what I can be and who I can be but I'm really excited for the next year and next few years. Hopefully I'm playing on the big stage and playing some Majors and contending in them."
Siblings provide double threat
It says something about the talent of your sister when as a professional top level athlete you are still, on the world stage anyway, in their shadow. That was the case for Lee coming into this week as older sibling Minjee is a two time winner in the women's event at the Vic Open and a five time winner on the LPGA Tour. Incredibly, they both had at least a share of the lead on the final day on the Beach Course before bogeys on the 16th and 17th left Minjee two shots out of a play-off. At over 100 places higher than Min Woo on their respective World Rankings, you could say Minjee still has the bragging rights over her brother - but he might not see it that way. "My sister and I winning the same tournament, it's pretty special," he said. "I've got bragging rights now so it's even better." Minjee added: "I was super, super proud of him. It was really cool to just even be here with him and even watch him the last two holes. Just to see him play, I haven't really seen him play that much, so to be able to have a win here is really cool." Who doesn't love some friendly sibling rivalry?
Park drives away with women's crown
One of the great innovations of the ISPS Handa Vic Open is its mixed format, with the men and women going out in alternate groups on the same course, playing for the same prize. On Sunday morning, we even had a mixed threeball in the first group out after the second cut. At the top of the leaderboard, Hee Young Park took home the trophy after defeating fellow South Koreans Hye-Jin Choi and So Yeon Ryu in a four hole play-off. "It was a really tough wind and the greens were very tough with the speed," she said. "But I hit it all good all week, I hit it really well."
Fox blows them away
Ryan Fox did not win the ISPS Handa Vic Open. He did not even record his lowest round on the European Tour. But he believes his 64 on Sunday was the best round of tournament golf he has ever played. In very high winds and with six shots to pick up on the leader, the New Zealander recorded two eagles and four birdies in a remarkable effort that could very well prove to be one of the rounds of the season. "Comfortably probably the best round I've played in a tournament," he said. "I would not have thought 64 was out there at the start of the day. You're not supposed to shoot 64 on a day like today but I'll certainly take it. I decided today I was going to take it on and if I shot four over and finished down the bottom it didn't matter. I kept that aggressive mindset throughout. If you told me I'd shoot 64 and finish second, I certainly would have taken that at the start of the day."
No ropes, no problem
It's usually only Sunday at The Open Championship where we get to see fans flooding the fairways to get close to their favourite players but at 13th Beach Golf Club you can do it every day. And we love it.
Things we can't get enough of:— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) February 9, 2020
Fans on the fairways 🙌 pic.twitter.com/yjQYWeCztA
You can even bring your best friend along.
One of the highlights of our trips Down Under is the wildlife and this little fella was on the putting green this week. Only in Australia.