Australian Open world premiere – PGA of Australia

The headline events will take place at the same time and in the same locations, with the event being held on Melbourne’s famous sandbelt from December 1-4.

Victoria Golf Club is the main host site for the four days of the tournament and Kingston Heath Golf Club is ready to host the first two days.

The men’s event will headline the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, while the women’s event will be sanctioned by the WPGA Tour of Australasia.

In another first for the Australian Open, the men’s event will also be sanctioned on the DP World Tour, putting Australian golf on the world stage for two consecutive weeks with the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship taking place at Royal Queensland on previous week.

Field sizes of 144 men and 144 women will compete for an equal split of the $3.4 million minimum prize offered.

This year’s Australian Open will also feature the third edition of the Australian All Ability Championship, which features the top 12 World Ranking of Disabled Golfers (WR4GD) players from around the world, supported by global partners EDGA, the International Federation of golf and recently formed G4D Tour.

Golf Australia chief executive James Sutherland said the new format is an important strategic decision that has involved extensive long-term planning.

“This is truly a coup for Australian golf – it represents a great opportunity for the game and will take both Open Championships to another level,” said Sutherland.

“We’ve seen the success of the Vic Open in this format, and more recently the Webex Players Series where men and women play for the same title.

“We are extremely delighted to be able to make this announcement today, and it would not have happened without the support of Visit Victoria and the Victorian Government.

“Victoria’s famous Melbourne Sandbelt will once again host a world-class golf tournament, and we are delighted to partner with DP World Tour in co-sanctioning and broadcasting through their extensive global network.

Ben Cowen, Commercial Director of DP World Tour Tournaments, said: “We are delighted to have the Australian Open on the DP World Tour program for the first time in December and look forward to working with Golf Australia to bring another world-class event in Melbourne, the sporting capital of Australia.

“Presenting the Australian Open and the Women’s Australian Open on iconic golf courses in the heart of Victoria’s famous Melbourne Sandbelt provides a fantastic opportunity for both members to compete on the world stage and our thanks go to Golf Australia, Visit Victoria, the Victorian Government and the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia for their vision and commitment to our wonderful game.

Sutherland said the incredible story of the two events will not be lost.

“The men are still playing for their own title at the Australian Open for the Stonehaven Cup, and the women for the Patricia Bridges Bowl. Both trophies have been won by some of the best golfers to play golf.

“We have huge aspirations for this event. This new format will be the springboard for a great celebration of golf.

“This decision aligns with our new national strategy and our ambitions to attract a new audience. In line with our belief that golf is a sport for everyone, strategy requires that we present our tournaments as inclusive and fun events.

Another highlight of the Australian Open will be the third edition of the Australian All Ability Championship, which features the top 12 World Ranking of Disabled Golfers (WR4GD) players from around the world, supported by global partners EDGA, the International Federation of golf and the newly formed G4D Tour.

“The Australian Open has been a world leader in this,” Sutherland said. “We are committed to organizing and promoting the All Ability Championships and look forward to seeing others follow our lead in providing more opportunities for top-level courses internationally.”

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Michael C. Ford