THE Australian Women’s Open Golf Championship has received a big boost with news of a new two year naming rights sponsorship deal.
Dr Haruhisa Handa, the golf loving Japanese businessman who also sponsors the Australian Senior Open Golf Championship, has added the Women’s Open to the growing list of worldwide tournaments he sponsors.
The HANDA Women’s Australian Open will take place at the Commonwealth Golf Club in Melbourne from 11-14 March 2010.
Golf Australia CEO Stephen Pitt welcomed Dr Handa and said it would build tremendous excitement for what was already shaping to be a world-class championship.
“This is wonderful news for our championship,” Pitt said.
“Dr Handa has been involved in Australian golf for many years and we’re delighted that our national women’s championship will receive Dr Handa’s enthusiastic support over the coming two years.”
“The HANDA Women’s Australian Open continues to grow. Early indications are that we will have perhaps the best field ever assembled for this championship. We are equally delighted that Commonwealth has agreed to host a major championship for the first time since 1967,” Pitt said.
Dr Handa’s support of golf was acknowledged further last week when he was made an official Patron of Golf Australia.
An accomplished composer, calligrapher, author, motivational speaker and opera singer, Dr Handa is the Honorary Chairman of the US LPGA Legends Tour.
He is also an advisor to the European Senior Tour and as well as currently sponsoring the Australian Senior Open and Australia Cup, recently announced his intention to sponsor four new events on the European Seniors Tour.
Dr Handa said he was pleased to be able continue his commitment to golf at all levels.
“It is my great honour to ensure the continuation of this significant event on the Australian golfing calendar and to continue my support of women’s golf in Australia,” Dr Handa said.
“I am already a strong supporter of women’s golf in the United States, through my involvement with the LPGA Legends Tour. The addition of the Women’s Australian Open to my sponsorship portfolio highlights my continued commitment to supporting golf at all levels. This includes my ongoing support of International Blind Golf and junior golf.”
Dr Handa has become the most significant personal (non-corporate) contributor to golf in Australia.
Golf Australia also confirmed the prize money for the Women’s Australian Open has increased to AU$600,000.
“We are absolutely committed to taking this championship to greater heights each year and increasing the prize money is an important element of that,” Pitt said.