May 3rd, 2022Iconic Sandbelt set for golfing first
In a world-first for golf, the Men’s and Women’s Australian Opens will be played together on the world-famous Melbourne Sandbelt from 1-4 December, with support from the State Government.
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakula today announced that Victoria Golf Club and Kingston Heath Golf Club will host the first recognised national Open to play both the women’s and men’s tournaments side by side.
The format allows fans to see some of the world’s best men and women golfers, with both courses hosting play on the first two days, and the final two days to be held at Victoria Golf Club.
The Opens will also feature the third edition of the Australian All Abilities Championship, featuring the top 12 players on the World Ranking for Golfers with Disability.
The Men’s Open returns to Victoria for the first time since 2002, while the Women’s returns after a shorter absence of seven years.
The State Government is backing the return of a packed calendar of major events in 2022, bringing thousands of visitors and creating local jobs.
Victoria’s place as the nation’s home of major golf tournaments was recently confirmed with the announcement of the 2028 and 2040 Presidents Cup being awarded to Melbourne.
Golf in Victoria contributes $883 million to the state’s economy and supports 6,900 jobs.
Martin Pakula said:
“As the home of major golf events Victoria is the best place to host this world-first format for the Women’s and Men’s Australian Opens.”
“Golf plays an important role in our tourism sector and delivering major events like this will attract more visitors to Victoria and support jobs.”
Golf Australia CEO James Sutherland said:
“This truly is a coup for Australian golf and will take the tournaments to another level.”
“We strongly believe in this concept. We’ve seen it at the Australian Open tennis for years, and it just makes sense that fans can see their idols, whether they be men or women, all in the one place.”
Five-time women’s Australian Open winner Karrie Webb said:
“I love this concept, the game is cooperating and bringing down barriers and that needs to happen.”
“It’s just awesome for me to see women on the same stage with the same billing, as they should be. We’ve seen it with other events, the public love it and they want it that way.”