Seven-time main champion Karrie Webb has confirmed she is going to “dust off the clubs” for this 12 months’s Australian Open, with the lads’s and girls’s tournaments becoming a member of forces in a world-first.
The occasion, which can be performed on Melbourne’s well-known sandbelt in early December, will see the women and men compete for an equal cut up of the prizemoney, which can be a minimal of $3.4 million. It’s the primary time a nationwide open has performed the lads’s and girls’s occasions on the identical course on the identical time.
Victoria Golf Club will function the host venue, with Kingston Heath additionally getting used on the opening two days of the match.
Webb has received the match a report 5 instances, along with her two most up-to-date wins coming on the programs that may host this 12 months’s occasion.
“I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to play both of these courses, I’ve played Australian Opens at Vic(toria) and Kingston Heath and did pretty well at both,” she mentioned.
“(My game is) more dusty than normal, I did play a tournament in Florida in January, and plan to play a couple in the summer over in the States, so it won’t be too far away.
“Melbourne golf programs are a problem at the most effective of instances, so we’ll see the way it goes.”
For the first time, the men’s tournament will be co-sanctioned with the European Tour, increasing the likelihood of Golf Australia attracting some big names for the event.
“This actually is a coup for Australian golf – it presents an awesome alternative for the sport and can take the 2 Open championships to a different degree,” said Golf Australia boss James Sutherland.
“We’ve seen the success of the Vic Open on this format, and extra not too long ago the Webex Players Series the place women and men play for a similar title.
“We’re incredibly excited to be able to make this announcement.”
The males’s match has a storied historical past, counting legends corresponding to Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tom Watson amongst its former winners.
Sutherland identified that Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy had each received the occasion within the final decade, whereas the present high three gamers within the ladies’s recreation, Jin Young, Nelly Korda and Lydia Ko, have all claimed the Australian Open title.
He famous that the brand new format will nonetheless protect the historical past of each tournaments.
“The men are still playing for their own Australian Open title 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 the game,” he mentioned.
“We have huge aspirations for this event. This new format will provide the springboard for a wonderful celebration of golf.”
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