Date: February 11, 2009

Birdies for bushfires

Players and officials at the Women’s Australian Open in Melbourne, Victoria, have pledged their support to the Victorian Bushfire Relief Fund. The Ladies European Tour (LET) and Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG) Tour, who co-sanction the A$500,000 tournament, will donate A$5 for every birdie made this week. Players are being invited to match this or to donate some of their prize money. This tragedy has touched us all the players have a new focus and are keen to support the bushfire appeal. There is now an added incentive to play well for those affected by this disaster and the Tours are happy to help. Leading players have already committed significant dollars before they have hit a shot, and we are confident Birdies for Bushfires will generate much needed funds, said Warren Sevil, Chief Executive of the ALPG. Everyone recognises the severity of this natural disaster and we are all keen to support the bushfire victims. Our thoughts are with the friends and families of those who have died and the many who have lost their homes, added Mark Casey, Director of Operations for the Ladies European Tour. The Women’s Australian Open takes place at Metropolitan Golf Club this week on Melbourne s famous sand belt. The course is in excellent condition despite the recent high temperatures in the area. The 150 players teeing off on Thursday include four-time Australian Open winner Karrie Webb, last week s ANZ Ladies Masters champion Katherine Hull and the 2008 European No.1 Gwladys Nocera. Webb is aiming to win the Patricia Bridges Bowl for the third time running and fifth time in total after her playoff victory at nearby Kingston Heath Golf Club last year.