Date: February 10, 2014
Author: Audi

Audi supports historic Open

The cream of the world s female golf professionals have their sights set firmly on Melbourne s famous sandbelt and the challenging Victoria Golf Club with the 2014 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open just around the corner. Last year, Audi Australia became a major sponsor of the event as part of its ongoing support of golf in Australia, the picturesque Royal Canberra layout playing host to a thrilling tournament that saw Korean Jiyai Shin clinch the title by two strokes from the Taiwanese sensation, Yani Tseng herself an international Audi brand ambassador and two-time winner of the title. This year, the tournament will see a field of 156 of the finest female golfers from around Australia and more than a dozen other countries play for the coveted title and a total purse of US$1.2 million. Audi will once again get behind the premier tournament in Australian women’s golf, providing a fleet of more than 20 luxury cars to transfer golfers and VIPs to and from the Victoria Golf Club. Tseng will likewise be back to try and go one better this year and add her third Women’s Australian Open to an impressive tally of tournament victories to date. This will be no small feat though, with the celebrated Victoria Golf Club presenting a fitting challenge to the impressive field that includes the world s top ranked female golfers indeed all of the top 10 rankings, including the extraordinary Kiwi talent, Lydia Ko (third last year at only 15 years of age!) and another former title holder, the undisputed queen of Australian golf, Karrie Webb herself a four-time past winner. Lydia Ko s third place finish in Canberra last year speaks volumes for the youngster, who has since gone professional and now, at the ripe old age of 16 continues to go from strength to strength and win fans wherever she plays. The timeless Karrie Webb needs no introduction and never fails to delight and awe galleries whenever she plays. Webb originally triumphed in the Women’s Australian Open in 2000 at Yarra Yarra (Vic), again at the same course in 2002 and then completed back-to-back wins in 2007 and 2008 at Royal Sydney and Kingston Heath respectively. Currently ranked 8th in the world, Webb is looking forward to returning to Victoria s sandbelt where she previously won three of her four championships and is keen to add another. Her form in 2013 was impressive to say the least, with victory in the ISPS Handa Ladies European Masters as well her 39th LPGA Tour win at the Shoprite LPGA Classic. A major draw card and firm favourite on home soil, Webb is always a popular competitor with an international gallery and one to watch. Celebrating 40 years in 2014, it is particularly fitting that the ultimate competition in women’s golf in Australia should be played at the Victoria Golf Club, the very place the original tournament was originally played in 1974. Known then as the Australian Ladies Open, it was Japan s Hisako Higuchi who stamped her authority on the 54-hole event. Then, two years later, the Victoria Golf Club again hosted the tournament, where this time, American Donna Caponi-Young (now Caponi-Byrnes) prevailed over the international field Down Under. The tournament has continued to grow in stature over the years, becoming a major event on the international calendar that is sanctioned by the LPGA Tour, the Ladies European Tour and the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour. With such a talented field descending on Victoria for this year s Open, the outcome is too close to call, but come February 13th, one certainty is that galleries will be treated to a veritable golfing feast as the world s finest mark an Australian golfing milestone. The 2014 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, Victoria Golf Club, February 13-16.