Richard Green will have the benefit of sleeping in his own bed for the Oates Vic Open this week at Thirteenth Beach Golf Links on the Bellarine Peninsula.
The hometown advantage played a big part in Green’s decision to compete in Australia this week over the European Tour’s Maybank Championship in Malaysia.
“It’s a bit of a weird feeling to have tournament in your backyard, but it’s pretty ideal especially when I spend so much time travelling,” Green said. “To be at home this week is really good. I love the event here and I love being around my family and friends and it’s a tournament I think I can win and I love playing the courses here. That means more to me at this stage of my career. Being on my own and staying in a strange hotel while missing this is not what I wanted to do; I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time.”
Green lost his status on the European Tour after he was pushed out of accrued prizemoney exemption by Alex Noren at the 11th hour last year. He recently took out the Asian Tour Qualifying School, which would have allowed the Victorian to play at the co-sanctioned Maybank Championship, however Green said at this stage of his career he’s looking for more enjoyment out of tournaments over competing for prizemoney.
“The opportunity to go to Malaysia was there and had I been at the start of my career at 21 or 22 I would’ve gone. I’ve been on the European Tour over there for 20 years and I’ve now got a different perspective on what I want to do and what I want out of my game.
“I enjoy playing golf on courses that allow you to play and allow you to score and gives a little back. Over the past couple of years on the European Tour the golf courses have become tougher and tougher and they don’t give anything. I want to enjoy my golf now and I know I can enjoy myself here.”
Green said while he was disappointed to lose his status on the European Tour, he isn’t too stressed about winning tournaments to earn his spot back.
“I’m not bothered if I do or don’t get my status back on the European Tour. I’m not starting my career I’m probably more towards the end of it,” Green added. “I’m happy to be playing in a few different places in different tournaments and against different players, different officials, different caddies and it’s a bit refreshing to be honest.”
The Oates Vic Open is the only tournament on the PGA Tour of Australasia where the men and women play alongside one another, Green and his partner Marianne Skarpnord were both crowned champions in 2015, and the opportunity to be at the same event was another factor in his decision to play again.
“That’s another great reason to be here and play. I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to play at the same time with each other. We pass each other in the night for most of the year so when we get the chance to be together at a tournament it’s great.”
The Oates Vic Open began this morning at Thirteenth Beach Golf Links with a field of 144 players vying for a prize purse of $500,000. 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.