Tour News

Aus Open Heading Back To Melbourne

Reigning Australian Open champion Jordan Spieth. (Photo: Golf Australia)
Australia’s national championship is heading back to the most revered golf landscape in the country with the Australian Open to be played in Melbourne in 2020 and 2022.

Courses are yet to be announced but Golf Australia CEO Stephen Pitt has revealed the tournament will be played outside Sydney for the first time since 2005 when it is contested in the Victorian capital in 2020.

A multi-year deal with the NSW Government has ensured the Stonehaven Cup has remained in Sydney for more than a decade but two ‘release years’ were built into the last renegotiation.

While it was believed by many that at least one of those events would be played at Royal Queensland in 2020 to celebrate the club’s centenary that won’t be the case.

Pitt didn’t announce which Melbourne course or courses would host though Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath are no doubt favourites.

"We're excited to see the national championship return to Melbourne in 2020 and 2022 and we know that the golf clubs and golfers of Victoria will be delighted to have the Emirates Australian Open played on Victorian soil again,” Pitt said in a press release.

“These tournaments will be played on two of our country’s greatest courses and we are expecting them to be wonderful events."

In 2008, then NSW Premier Morris Iemma announced his government had locked the tournament in for seven years and that deal was extended a further eight years in 2015.

Meanwhile, Melbourne is without a regular major golf tournament despite being home to the best course in the country.

While not officially dead, The Australian Masters hasn’t been played since 2015 with the World Cup of Golf filling the calendar at the end of 2016.

The Presidents Cup will be played at Royal Melbourne for the third time in 2019 however there is no major golf event on the calendar for either this year or next.

While good news for Melbourne fans, Victorian Tourism Minister John Eren says he also expects the tournament to be a financial windfall for the state.

 “Victorian golf fans have a lot to look forward to as we bring the Emirates Australian Open back to Melbourne after 15 years,” he said.

“Thousands of travellers will be making their way to Victoria to see the world’s best in action, and we’ll be showcasing what we do best to millions more on television.”

Victoria last hosted the tournament at Moonah Links, on the Mornington Peninsula, in 2005 while it was last played in Melbourne at Victoria Golf Club in 2002 .

That tournament, won by Steve Allan, was famously shortened to 54 holes after several greens became unplayable in the first round.


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