Date: February 13, 2014
Author: Martin Blake /

Open to be a world event

The LPGA Tour has hinted that it will continue to come back to Australia on the back of the success of the ISPS Handa Women&aposs Australian Open. The tour&aposs business affairs vice- president Ricki Lasky told the Herald Sun today that the LPGA had big plans for the future with Golf Australia. “I think GA has presented us with a hidden gem and we would love to turn it into a polished diamond in years to come,” Lasky told the newspaper. “The Sandbelt courses are world class – clearly among the best we play at through the year – and one of our goals is to expose the world s best players to the best courses. We are really excited about what this event might become. Right now we think we ve crawled, are now walking, but we re ready to run.&apos&apos The Open is tri-sanctioned by Australian Ladies Professional Golf, the LPGA in America, and the Ladies European Tour, an arrangement put in place in 2012. Golf Australia believes this has taken the event to the next level, because effectively, it means that the best players in the world have more incentive to make the trip. The Australian Open is part of an Asian swing for the LPGA, which moves to Thailand next week. Money earned in the $1.2 million tournament goes toward the LPGA money list. Five of the world&aposs top 10 players are in the field that hit off at Victoria Golf Club this morning — world No. 2 Suzann Pettersen of Norway, Stacy Lewis (2), Lydia Ko (4), Karrie Webb (8) and Lexi Thompson (9). These are heady days for the Open, which was put into abeyance and not even played between 1979 and 1993, and as recently as 2005-6 there was no tournament at all.