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He spiced up the event by inviting top female amateurs, like Greenhill’s mother, to play with the male pros.
Greenhill’s mother got paired with Nagle, who won The Open Championship in 1960.
We wanted to reflect that belief in the tournament.” Greenhill said it created the spark the Vic Open needed.
“When you are trying something new, you never really know if it’s going to work,” Greenhill said.
Gary Player, Greg Norman, Peter Thomson, Kel Nagle, David Graham, Ian Baker Finch and Bruce Devlin all won the PGA Tour of Australasia event, but it slipped on to hard times.
“Bronwen and I were adamant if we were going to do this, it had to be equal prize money for men and women,” said Greenhill, who is now an event senior manager with Golf Australia.
“Being the dad to two daughters, I wanted them to have opportunities to pursue whatever they wanted as careers, and if they are good at it, to be paid the same as a male counterpart.
Back in 2011, the tournament was in danger of going extinct, with sagging interest and a bare-boned purse of 100,000 AUD.
“The men’s event wasn’t really viable anymore, and we knew something had to change,” said David Greenhill, who was running the tournament for Golf Victoria at the time.