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Australian Women’s Golf Open to remain in Adelaide until 2021


South Australia has secured the rights to host the Women’s Australian Golf Open until at least 2021.

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The four-day tournament, part of the global LPGA tour, has been played in the South Australian capital since 2016 and will be held from Thursday at Kooyonga Golf Club after successful events at The Grange and Royal Adelaide the past two years.

The course for next year’s event is yet to be announced.

Golf Australia Chief Executive Stephen Pitt made the announcement at Kooyonga today ahead of the February 15-18 event.

“We believe the event has found a great home in this state and this city,” Pitt said.

“We’re so fortunate with the golf courses and the venues that are here … we’ve got a government that cares deeply about women’s sport and that’s really important to us as we continue to grow this event.”

The tournament’s LPGA status means it has prizemoney of about $1.65 million (US$1.3 million), significantly more than the $1.25 million on offer at the men’s Australian Open.

This week’s field will feature eight of the world’s top 20 players including So Yeon Ryu, Cristie Kerr, Lydia Ko, Brooke Henderson and Ariya Jutanugarn.

Eight past Women’s Australian Open champions including Karrie Webb, Ha Na Jang, Haru Nomura, Laura Davies and Catriona Matthew will also tee it up to see if they can again hold the Patricia Bridges Bowl aloft.

Kooyonga was the home club of Sir Donald Bradman and has hosted the Men’s Australian Open five times but it will be the first time the national women’s open is played at the Lockleys course.

Tournament Director Trevor Herden said the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open had grown in momentum each year with players and fans since moving to South Australia in 2016.

“That’s evident by the quality of field that keeps coming back and more so this year than ever the depth of the field is to be applauded,” he said.

“I keep hearing through the LPGA that the chat on the driving range is they can’t wait to come back to Adelaide because of the weather, it’s such a good place, the golf courses are brilliant and to be able to stay by the beach at Glenelg in a hotel that’s only 10 minutes away from the golf course is unbelievable for these players.”

Tourism Minister Leon Bignell said the 32,000 spectators who watched the event last year at Royal Adelaide was 10,000 more than when the tournament was previously held in Melbourne.

“I have no doubt this year’s event will see another record-breaking crowd,” he said.

“Hosting the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Golf Open is a huge coup for South Australia and provides yet another opportunity to show off our state to the rest of the world.”

The South Australian government established the South Australian Women in Sport Taskforce in 2015 to attract women’s sporting events and to improve gender equality, change the face of sport leadership, and increase spectators and fans for women’s sport.

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story. Copied to Clipboard

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