THE 2017 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open will be played at Royal Adelaide Golf Club from February 16-19 with world number one Lydia Ko already signed to compete, it has just been announced.
Organisers have also confirmed the signature of defending champion Haru Nomura in what will likely be a top notch LPGA field.
Golf Australia chief executive Stephen Pitt said securing the signatures of such key players early in the year would prove a real boon for all parties involved, as well as helping to attract other big names.
“Lydia’s name is the hottest in world golf and we are thrilled that she has committed again to play in Adelaide – she had a great time in February and her eagerness to spread the word and return is pivotal,” Pitt said.
“Haru vaulted to prominence with her maiden LPGA Tour win here at The Grange and she hasn’t put a foot wrong since, winning the Swinging Skirts Classic in San Francisco to continue her charge up the Rolex Rankings. She was unbelievably good with her closing 65 at The Grange, holding off the game’s best and winning a lot of fans not only in Adelaide, but around the world.”
As a further boost to the event, Dr Haruhisa Handa, through ISPS director Midori Miyazaki also today confirmed an eighth consecutive year of naming rights sponsorship.
“Dr Handa and the International Sports Promotion Society were thrilled with the event’s reception in 2016 and we believe that, and our long-standing relationship with Golf Australia, strongly contributes to our message about the power sport has to inspire, especially to those less fortunate,” Miyazaki said.
South Australian Minister for Tourism and Recreation and Sport Leon Bignell was thrilled by the commitment of the LPGA Tour and ISPS Handa, both partners to the Open’s recent emergence as a world-class event.
“After a fantastic 2016 event, I am confident the 2017 event at the Royal Adelaide Golf Club will deliver exceptional results for the event and our state,” Bignell said.
“We are always working hard to bring more exciting major events to South Australia to create a vibrant atmosphere for our state as well as attract interstate and international visitors.
“Events like the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open not only continue to contribute to our reputation as a world-class sporting destination, they also continue to shine a spotlight on women’s sport – which we support at all levels, from grassroots to elite.”