THE Australian Open will return to Royal Sydney Golf Club in 2016, scene of Rory McIlroy’s dramatic final round victory over Adam Scott in 2013.
Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt announced the move to the storied Rose Bay venue on the final day of the 2015 Open, being played out at The Australian Golf Club.
“Royal Sydney is one of Australia’s most revered clubs and we are excited to return to one of the great championship venues in the country,” Mr Pitt said.
“The atmosphere at Royal Sydney in 2013 was extraordinary, as it has been at The Australian these past two years, so we are looking forward to heading back next year.”
Golf Australia, along with partners the New South Wales Government and its tourism and events agency Destination NSW and event commercial partner Lagardère Sports (formerly World Sport Group), announced in October a deal that keeps the Open in Sydney for the next eight years, with the scope for two “release years” in that period.
“We’ve been thrilled with the support from the New South Wales Government, our naming rights sponsor Emirates and the players. Along with the clubs and golf fans of Sydney who’ve really embraced the event, we have raised the global awareness of the championship and also of Sydney as a world-class golfing destination,” Mr Pitt said.
“The Open continues to deliver the world’s best players to Sydney, as evidenced in the past two years when Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth have each springboarded to world No.1 status and major championship victories after winning the Stonehaven Cup.”
Mr Pitt said it was his intention to formalise and announce a plan about future host clubs for the Emirates Australian Open as soon as possible.
“We’d like to give golf fans and all involved in the industry a degree of certainty with their planning,” he said.
“The tournament has grown to the point that it’s only logical to allow people and our partners to plan around it in their long-term schedules.”
Dates for the tournament are yet to be fixed. Details will be available at www.ausopengolf.com