Australian Opens to be held together for equal prize purses

The marquee tournaments will be played at the same time and at the same venues, with the event to be held on the world-famous Melbourne Sandbelt from December 1-4; Matt Jones is reigning men’s champion, while Inbee Park won the 2020 women’s title

Last Updated: 29/04/22 8:23am

Matt Jones won the Australian Open the last time it was held in 2019 Matt Jones won the Australian Open the last time it was held in 2019

Matt Jones won the Australian Open the last time it was held in 2019

The next editions of the men’s and women’s Australian Open will be held together on the same courses and for equal prize purses, tournament organisers announced on Friday.

Victoria Golf Club is the primary host venue across all four days of the tournament and Kingston Heath Golf Club is set to host play on the first two days, with fields set at 144 players for both events.

The tournaments, both held from December 1-4, will split the prize fund of A$3.4 million (£1.94m) equally, while the men’s event will also be sanctioned on the DP World Tour for the first time and be the second of back-to-back Australian-based tournaments to start the 2022-23 season.

Golf Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, James Sutherland, 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.

“We have huge aspirations for this event. This new format will provide the springboard for a wonderful celebration of golf. The move aligns with our new national strategy and our ambitions to appeal to new audiences.”

Former world No 1s Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott are among the recent former winners, while Matt Jones remains defending champion after his victory in the 2019 contest.

Rory McIlroy was the 2013 Australian Open champion Rory McIlroy was the 2013 Australian Open champion

Rory McIlroy was the 2013 Australian Open champion

The Australian Open, the headline event of the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia season, has been cancelled the previous two years because of Covid-19 travel restrictions – the first time the tournament hasn’t been contested since World War II.

The Women’s Australian Open, first played in 1974, was last held in Adelaide in 2020, when former world No 1 Inbee Park won the title. The Victorian Open at 13th Beach was a template for running events simultaneously, featuring mixed fields since 2012.

“By bringing these two events, the men’s and women’s, together, we are trying to create a great celebration of golf in the week,” Sutherland added. “The men’s and women’s Opens are the biggest titles in Australian golf and to bring them together on the one stage is something really significant.”

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