Date: August 14, 2012
Author: Hamish Jones / Golf Australia

Australian Senior Open gets ISPS boost

The future of Australia s premier senior golf championship remains strong with the International Sports Promotion Society (ISPS) further committing their relationship to the prestigious event for a further 2 years. 2012 will be the sixth consecutive year that ISPS have been the title sponsor for the event with this year s tournament to be played at Royal Perth Golf Club from 30 November to 2 December. Following the enormous success of an innovative new format in 2011, the tournament will once again be played Pro-Am style where sponsors will have the opportunity to partner the field of legend professionals in a stableford best ball competition for the first 36 holes. The change in format was an initiative of long-term sponsor Dr Haruhisa Handa, Chairman of the International Sports Promotion Society, who saw the great opportunity in allowing avid golfers to play alongside seasoned professionals in tournament championship conditions. In committing to the tournament once again, Dr Handa commented that it is a privilege to be involved in another Australian national title and to bring the best senior players to Perth for the ISPS Handa Australian Senior Open. ISPS hopes that this is a great opportunity for the golfers in Perth to play alongside some heroes of the game while they compete for a national open title. ISPS hopes that the public will be inspired by watching these wonderful professionals and they aim to contribute to the local community and raise money for charities throughout the event. In further exciting changes to the event, this year the AU$100,000 ISPS Handa Australian Senior Open will embark on a joint sanctioning arrangement with the PGA of Australia Legends Tour and the fledgling Asia Pacific Champions Tour (APCT) for the first time as part of a historic three-year relationship. 2010 Champion and Australian icon Peter Senior, major winners Ian Baker-Finch and Wayne Grady as well as Peter Fowler and Mike Harwood have all confirmed their participation in this year s event which is shaping up to showcase an outstanding field of senior professionals from the Australian and Asian regions. Golf Australia CEO Stephen Pitt also confirmed their support for this year s event and the future pathway through the co-sanctioning with the Asia Pacific Champions Tour. We are excited with how this year s event is shaping up and that it will co-sanction with the APCT for the first time. The combination of the PGA s Legends Tour and APCT will help ensure that the best senior professionals throughout Australasia compete, Pitt said. It is one of Golf Australia s objectives to continue to promote the ISPS Handa Australian Senior Open as one of the significant championships in our region. We also appreciate the continued support of ISPS, as well as the Royal Perth Golf Club both are great supporters of Golf Australia and the event. Brian Thorburn, CEO of the PGA of Australia agreed with Pitt, saying the co-sanctioning will aid the growth of our own E-Z-GO PGA Legends Tour. The ISPS Handa Australian Seniors Open is a pinnacle event on our E-Z-GO PGA Legends Tour, and we are delighted to work alongside the Asia Pacific Champions Tour. Asia provides some wonderful growth opportunities for golf within our region, and I m sure this co-sanctioning will be the start of a great relationship that will benefit all parties. The inclusion of the Asia Pacific Champions Tour will see 25 senior professionals from the newly established tour included in the field with the long-term objective to further grow the event throughout Asia. This is a tremendous opportunity for our tour Members and is an endorsement for the fledgling Asia Pacific Champions Tour which in only its second year is holding nine events in seven countries and offering a total prize money of AU$542,000 , said APCT President Ron Hendrie. The tournament returns to host venue Royal Perth Golf Club where it was played in 2009 and 2010, with the open championship title being contested over 54 holes of stroke play from 30 November to 2 December. Competitors have highlighted their enjoyment of the perfectly conditioned and challenging layout of the South Perth course and look forward to returning to the Club in November for the tournament.