Michele Thomson targets win as she starts 2018 campaign

Aberdonian Michele Thomson is playing in five events in a row in Australia, starting with this week's Oates Vic Open
Aberdonian Michele Thomson is playing in five events in a row in Australia, starting with this week's Oates Vic Open
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Michele Thomson is hoping to take up where she left off at the end of last season when she tees off her 2018 campaign in Australia on Thursday.

The Aberdonian joins two of her compatriots, Carly Booth and Kylie Henry, in flying the Saltire in the Oates Vic Open at 13th Beach Golf Links.

The £370,000 event is the first of five tournaments Thomson has lined up on her trip Down Under and she can’t wait to get started after her strong finish last season.

That was sparked by a second-place finish in the Hero Women’s Indian Open and, helped by a subsequent top 10 in the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic, Thomson ended up 16th behind England’s Georgia Hall on the LET money-list.

“I’m really excited to get my season started in Australia,” admitted the 29-year-old, who is getting her campaign underway as the newest Aberdeen Standard Investments ambassador. “I’m hoping my form will continue where it left off last season.

“Playing five tournaments in a row out here in the sun will hopefully get me off to a good start and set me up for a good year going forward.

“I’d like to get into the top 100 in the world, get my first win on Tour and play in my first British Open.”

Hall won this event, which is being held in Barwon Heads, near Melbourne, two years ago, effectively providing a springboard for her getting into the Solheim Cup last August in Des Moines.

The 21-year-old won her LPGA card at the end of last year but is hoping to get her season off to another flying start in an event that is first up on the LET schedule.

“I’ve got some great memories as winning here was a really happy moment for me and it’s great to be back after missing out on last year,” she said.

Also in the field is defending champion Mel Reid after she was given the green light by doctors to make the trip last Thursday, having been troubled by a bad back for much of last season.

“I slipped a disc, it repaired itself and then I did it again in about September,” said the English player.

“I bulged one of my discs and I probably shouldn’t have played from September onwards, but I did, and that was a mistake.

“My instinct was saying not to play but I carried on and did a bit of damage to it really, so I shouldn’t have done that.

“My main goal over winter was to get healthy and I only got the all clear last week. I haven’t hit many golf balls, so it could be a good thing, or it could be a bad thing, I’m not sure.”

The unique event is played over two courses at 13th Beach for the first two days, the Creek and the Beach, with a field of 144 players from the LET and ALPG Tour competing.

The men’s Oates Vic Open runs simultaneously, with a field from the PGA Tour of Australasia teeing off in alternate groups with the women.