The US LPGA is coming back to Australia.
The US LPGA has just announced that it will be marking Australia on its calendar next year by including the Handa Women’s Australia Open on its 2012 tournament schedule. The tournament runs from February 6 – 12, 2011 and is being held at Royal Melbourne.
Australia has been a part of the LPGA Tour before, but this is the first time since 2000 that an individual tournament has been on the tournament roster. It is also the first time the event will be held at Royal Melbourne, home to this year’s Presidents Cup and considered by many to be Australia’s best golf course.
The 2012 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open will be a full field event with players battling for a US$1.1 million purse in a four-day, 72-hole stroke-play competition that will be televised in the U.S. by Golf Channel and in Australia by ABC. In 2013, the event will be hosted by Royal Canberra Golf Club.
This is big news. It means most of the world’s best female golfers will be in Australia for the tournament and gives Australia massive exposure in the US. Without taking anything away from this announcement, perhaps US PGA Tour officials may be watching with interest and considering doing a similar thing on the men’s tour as rumoured late last year.