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Adelaide to host Australian Women’s Golf Open until 2021

Sport

The State Government has used its major events bid fund to secure 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 Adelaide since 2016 and will be held from Thursday at Kooyonga Golf Club after successful events at the Grange and Royal Adelaide courses over 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 at noon today.

“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.”

The major events bid fund has been used to secure 54 events since 2014.

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.”

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