Mel Reid & Sandra Gal battled it out in a 3-hole playoff for the Oats Vic Open championship.
Mel Reid claimed victory at the Ladies European Tour season-opener Oats Vic Open. Dame Laura Davies may have set the pace at the Oats but Reid took charge during the 2nd round and continued to deliver a strong, dominant game on the 13th Beach track through the 3rd and 4th rounds.
However, Reid wasn’t alone at the top of the Oats Vic Open leaderboard. As the final round unfolded Reid and Sandra Gal swapped the lead several times. Reid could have sealed the victory on the par-5 72nd hole. She hit a 3 wood, 2nd shot to the front of the green. A 2-putt would have closed the deal. Reid 3-putted instead and the tournament went to a playoff.
On the first play-off hole, Reid and Gal both made par after Reid once again took three putts from the edge of the green. The second extra hole was almost a carbon copy of the first. The third time around, Gal hit her third shot just over the back of the green and failed to get up and down leaving Reid with a near tap-in to win.
It was honestly brutal out there. That’s one of the toughest winds that I’ve had . . . It was a true test of golf, you know, and brought a lot of character out so I’m over the moon that I managed to get the win. – Mel Reid
Solheim Cup Preview for Team Europe
If Solheim Cup Team USA’s Captain Julie Inkster was smiling after the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic last month, Team Europe’s Captain Annika Sorenstam is surely doing the same this week.
It’s early in the season, but Sorenstam is certainly pleased that two of her likely Solheim Cup teammates, Mel Reid and Sandra Gal, battled for the Oats Vic Open playoff win, just as Brittany Lincicome and Lexi Thompson did at the Pure Silk Bahamas.
It doesn’t hurt that Belen Mozo and Holly Clyburn, also likely Team Europe members, finished on the front page of the Oats Vic Open board, and that Caroline Hedwall, Florentynea Parker Emily Kristine Pedersen, and Nicole Broch Larsen also all delivered strong games.
Captains Inkster and Sorenstam may face some tough choices in a few months, but at the moment they’re looking for top-to-bottom team strength. That’s what Captain Sorenstam got this week.
The Ladies European Tour goes next to Mission Hills in Haikou, China for the World Ladies Championship, March 17-19. Many among this week’s field, however, will stay in Australia and play the LPGA-ALPG co-sanctioned Women’s Australian Open in Adelaide next week. I’ll handicap the Women’s Australian Open field this week.