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Australian Open

Golf Australia take next step for equality in historic move

It will be the first time a country’s national Open for both the men and women will be hosted together

 

History will be made at this year’s Australian Open when the men’s and women’s events are held together at the same venue on the same weekend.

In a world-first for golf, both of a country’s national Opens will be played side by side.

The tournaments will be held on the famous Melbourne sandbelt, with Kingston Heath hosting the first two days and Victoria as the primary venue over the weekend.

The prize fund will also be split evenly between the two events, with male and female players competing for an equal share of $3.4 million (£1.94m). Both fields will be comprised of 144 players.

Australian Open

This year’s Australian Open will also feature the third edition of the Australian All Abilities Championship, which assembles the top 12 players on the World Ranking for Golfers with Disability from across the world supported by global partners EDGA, the International Golf Federation and newly-formed G4D Tour. 

James Sutherland, Golf Australia’s CEO, said: “This truly is a coup for Australian golf. It presents a great opportunity for the game and will take the two Open championships to another level.

“The move aligns with our new national strategy and our ambitions to appeal to a new audience. In keeping with our belief that golf is a sport for everyone, the strategy demands that we present our tournaments as inclusive and fun events.”

Last year’s men’s and women’s Australian Opens both fell victim to the coronavirus pandemic, so the organisers will be hoping for a strong field come December.

Previous winners include the likes of Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, and home favourite Matt Jones, who will look to defend his title in Melbourne. Olympic gold medallist Inbee Park will be aiming to do the same in the women’s event.

It’s not the first time men and women have competed for the same prize money at the same venues, with the men’s and women’s Vic Opens – also in Australia – running concurrently, while the ISPS Handa World Invitational in Northern Ireland tri-sanctioned by the DP World Tour, LPGA, and LET.

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