Victoria Golf Club will host the championship for the first time in nearly 40 years.
The world’s best golfers from the LPGA Tour will return to Melbourne in 2014 when the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open is held at Victoria Golf Club on Melbourne’s renowned Sandbelt from 13-16 February.
Leading next year’s field are Australia’s World Number 6 Karrie Webb who completed her 39th LPGA Tour victory in June and defending champion Jiyai Shin from Korea (World Number 10).
Webb, a five-time Open champion, said she was looking forward to playing at a course which will host its first Women’s Australian Open in 38 years.
“I’m really looking forward to coming back to the Sandbelt and Victoria Golf Club in February for the 2014 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open,” Webb said.
“The championship has gone from strength to strength since it joined the LPGA Tour and the players certainly look forward to starting the year in Australia on our best courses. The ongoing support of major sponsor International Sports Promotion Society through Dr Handa has been a great boost which we sincerely appreciate.”
Golf Australia CEO Stephen Pitt said there was much to look forward to at the 2014 championship.
“The ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open has experienced exceptional growth in recent years, particularly in its international profile as a major women’s sporting event in the Asia-Pacific region. The championship consistently brings the highest number of top 20 ranked golfers in the world to Australia each year through our successful partnerships with the LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and ALPG Tour,” Pitt said.
“A fundamental part of this excellent period for Australia’s National Championship has been the support and enthusiasm from our title sponsor International Sports Promotion Society (ISPS) through Dr Haruhisa Handa. Dr Handa’s unwavering commitment to see golf included in Paralympic schedule is something Golf Australia fully supports and we are honoured that he sees the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open as a key opportunity to highlight his work in this area.
“Together with World Number 6 Karrie Webb and defending champion Jiyai Shin, we’ll be in a position to confirm more of the world’s top 10 players coming to Melbourne in the months ahead for what will be a terrific week of summer golf in Melbourne.”
ISPS Founder and Chairman Dr Haruhisa Handa said he was delighted to confirm their continued support for the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.
“At ISPS we are strong believers in the power of sport. Sport has a unique ability to create hope, inspire people and change society for the better. We a very proud to be sponsoring this championship – it not only highlights the best of women’s golf but also raises money for worthwhile charities and helps us in our ultimate ambition to see golf become a Paralympic sport.”
Victorian Minister for Sport and Recreation, Hugh Delahunty said the Open added to Melbourne’s reputation for hosting international golf.
“The ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open will act as the perfect culmination to a fantastic suite of international golf events about to be staged in Melbourne over the coming months,” Mr Delahunty said.
“These events contribute to Victoria’s major sporting events calendar, attract visitors to Melbourne and Victoria and help inspire us to get more active more often.
“I encourage Victorians to come along and support what promises to be a top showcase of international golf,” Mr Delahunty said.
The 2014 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open will be played at Victoria Golf Club from 13-16 February.