ISPS HANDA Australian Open Brings Inclusive Formula To Sydney

ISPS HANDA Australian Open Brings Inclusive Formula To Sydney 1920 1281 ISPS Handa

The groundbreaking ISPS HANDA Australian Open has a new home for 2023 with two of Sydney’s finest courses to test men, women and all-abilities golfers.

The Australian and The Lakes golf clubs will host the storied tournament from Thursday, November 30 to Sunday, December 3.

The joint tournament format, which won acclaim in 2022, will continue with some tweaks that will enhance the flow of the event for players and fans alike.

The Men’s Australian Open and the Women’s Australian Open will be contested with different titles decided on the same course at the same time.

In addition, the event will celebrate further inclusiveness through the Australian All Abilities Championship (AAAC) which was won by England’s Kipp Popert last December at Victoria Golf Club.

Top Australian amateur Harrison Crowe (pictured right), up-and-comer Kelsey Bennett (centre) and All-Abilities standard-setter Geoff Nicholas (left) were present at the Sydney launch today.

Australia’s world No.50 Lucas Herbert, winner of the ISPS HANDA Championship Japan in April, and 2021 Ladies European Tour Rookie of the Year Steph Kyriacou are the first home-grown talents to commit to the tournaments.

“What’s really commendable from Golf Australia and the PGA is that they spoke to me and a bunch of other players after the 2022 tournament about what worked and where improvements could be made,” Herbert said.

“After COVID, it was like we wanted to make up with three years of golf in one week. Give credit, changes have been made for things to run more smoothly.

“Most of us Aussies on tour love to get home to play in front of our fans.

“I’d like to think guys like Adam (Scott) and Jason (Day) are at a point where they are almost handing on the baton to the next group of guys, Min Woo Lee, Cam Davis and hopefully myself, who can be the next influential golfers who help get Australian kids into golf.”    

After a review of last year’s tournaments in Melbourne, and following consultation with both the men’s and women’s tour bodies and players, the 2023 edition will have some format changes.
The men’s field will consist of 156 players with 84 in the women’s field. Only one cut will be made, after 36 holes, reducing the field to the top 60 professionals plus ties in the men’s Open. This call discards the unpopular second cut after the third round that made drawcard Cameron Smith a casualty in 2022. The top 32 professionals plus ties will make the cut in the women’s Open.
The men’s Open returns to Sydney for the first time since 2019 while the women’s Open has not been played in Australia’s biggest city since Karrie Webb won at Royal Sydney in 2007.

The Australian Golf Club will be the host venue across the four days with the The Lakes Golf Club co-hosting for the first two days of play.

The men’s event will be co-sanctioned by the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and DP World Tour. The battle for the Stonehaven Cup will be staged a week after the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship at Royal Queensland.
The WPGA Tour of Australasia will again sanction the women’s event with the Patricia Bridges Bowl going to the winner.
This year’s ISPS HANDA Australian Open will also feature the fourth edition of the Australian All Abilities Championship which assembles the top players from the World Ranking for Golfers with Disability (WR4GD).

Golf Australia’s Chief Executive James Sutherland said he is delighted that Sydney will host the mixed format event in 2023.

“We’re incredibly excited to bring big golf back to Sydney for the first time in four years in this men’s, women’s and all-abilities format,” Sutherland said.

“We are thankful for the backing by the NSW Government and ISPS HANDA.”

“Last year the world-first national open format pushed boundaries and broke new ground for golf. The feedback was resoundingly positive, we have enhanced elements and the event  will again talk to our commitment to growing golf as a sport for all.”