Women's Australian Open Golf Tournament

Australia's Karrie Webb is a 4-time winner of the Women's Australian Open.
Australia's Karrie Webb is a 4-time winner of the Women's Australian Open. Lucas Dawson / Getty Images

The Women's Australian Open golf tournament began in 1974, and from 1974-78 it was a 54-hole event. The 1978 tourney, however, was the last one until the event re-emerged in 1994 as a 72-hole tourney.

The tournament is staged by Golf Australia and sanctioned by the Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG) tour. The Ladies European Tour began cosanctioning it in 2000, and since 2012 it has also been an LPGA Tour tournament.

2017 Tournament
Ha Na Jang fired a final-round score of 69, her only sub-70 round of the tournament, to win by three strokes. Jang finished at 10-under 282 (it was a par-73 course). The runner-up was Nanna Koerstz Madsen. It was Jang's fourth career win on the LPGA Tour.

2016 Women's Australian Open
Haru Nomura of Japan reeled off a string of four birdies in five holes from the 13th through the 17th in the final round, helping her win by three shots over runner-up Lydia Ko. A final-hole bogey didn't matter for Nomura, who carded a final-round 65 and finished at 16-under 272. Nomura's 65 was the lowest score of the final round by two shots. It was her first career win on the LPGA Tour.

2015 Tournament
17-year-old Lydia Ko won her sixth LPGA Tour title, taking this tournament by two strokes. Ko shot 71 in a final round marked by high scoring, finishing at 9-under 281. Amy Yang was the runner-up.

It was Ko's ninth win in a professional tournament overall.

Official website
LPGA Tour site

Women's Australian Open Records

  • 18 holes: 62 - Chella Choi, 2014
  • 72 holes: 270 - Karrie Webb, 2000

Women's Australian Open Golf Courses

From 1995 through 2002, the tournament was played annually at Yarra Yarra Golf Club in Melbourne.

Other than that period, the tournament has rotated to courses around Australia. Victoria Golf Club, site of the 2014 tourney, was the first golf course used in 1974. Other notable courses used include Royal Melbourne, Royal Adelaide, Royal Canberra, Royal Sydney and Kingston Heath.

The 2012 Women's Australian Open was the first-ever women's pro event played on the Composite Course at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.

Women's Australian Open Trivia and Notes

  • The tournament got off to a good start: Its very first winner, in 1974, was Japan LPGA legend and future Hall of Famer Chako Higuchi. The next two winners - JoAnne Carner and Donna Caponi - were also future Hall of Famers.
  • The first Australian golfer to win was Jan Stephenson in 1977, the fourth year of the event. The tourney was shortened to 36 holes by rain that year, and Stephenson defeated Pat Bradley in a playoff.
  • When this event was resuscitated in 1994, the winner was Annika Sorenstam. And it was Sorenstam's very first victory in a pro golf tournament.
  • The 1994 tournament that marked Sorenstam's first pro victory also was also the site of Karrie Webb's first start after turning pro. Webb later won the tournament five times, which is the event record.
  • Webb, in 2007-08, and Yani Tseng in 2010-11, are the only back-to-back champions.
  • Catriona Matthew's first professional win happened at the 1996 WAO.
  • Lydia Ko, a 15-year-old amateur at the time, set the tournament's 18-hole scoring record (since broken) in 2013 with a 63 in the first round. She finished third that year.

Winners of the Women's Australian Open

(p-won playoff; w-shortened by weather)

ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open
2017 - Ha Na Jang, 282
2016 - Haru Nomura, 272
2015 - Lydia Ko, 283
2014 - Karrie Webb, 276
2013 - Jiyai Shin, 274
2012 - Jessica Korda-p, 289
2011 - Yani Tseng, 276

Handa Women's Australian Open
2010 - Yani Tseng, 283

Women's Australian Open
2009 - Laura Davies, 285

MFS Women's Australian Open
2008 - Karrie Webb-p, 284
2007 - Karrie Webb, 278

AAMI Women's Australian Open
2006 - Not played
2005 - Not played
2004 - Laura Davies, 283
2003 - Mhairi McKay, 277
2002 - Karrie Webb-p, 278
2001 - Sophie Gustafson, 276
2000 - Karrie Webb, 270
1999 - Not played
1998 - Marnie McGuire, 280

Toyota Women's Australian Open
1997 - Jane Crafter, 279

Holden Women's Australian Open
1996 - Catriona Matthew, 283
1995 - Liselotte Neumann, 283
1994 - Annika Sorenstam, 286

Wills Qantas Australian Ladies Open
1979-1993 - Not played
1978 - Debbie Austin, 213
1977 - Jan Stephenson-w-p, 145
1976 - Donna Caponi, 206
1975 - JoAnne Carner, 228

Wills Australian Ladies Open
1974 - Chako Higuchi, 219