Karrie Webb
Five-time Women's Australian Open champion, Karrie Webb.

 

The global standing of any prominent sporting championship can be measured by the names on its trophy – and those on the Patricia Bridges Bowl stand any test.

While the history of the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open isn’t particularly long, the names that adorn the Bowl make the tournament resonate around the golfing world.

In just 25 stagings of the pre-eminent event in Australian women’s golf, our national championship already has six world No.1 players on its honour roll in an event that regularly attracts most of the world’s top players.

The Open is joint sanctioned by the LPGA Tour and ALPG, ensuring that it is one of very few truly global golf events staged in Oceania annually. And since the tournament was added to the LPGA Tour’s global schedule, the national championship has become one of the “must-have” titles on any champion’s resume.

For various political and financial reasons, the event skipped several years after it was first won by Japan’s Chako Higuchi in February 1974.

But the tournament has since developed such standing and momentum that it is now regarded by most in the Australian golfing community as annually attracting the best-ranked field in Australasia, whether it be men’s or women’s events.

Australian golfing royalty Jan Stephenson and Jane Crafter have each etched their names on the winners’ list, but the dominant name in Women’s Australian Open history is Queenslander Karrie Webb who, at Victoria Golf Club in 2014, scored a record fifth national crown to add to her World Golf Hall of Fame resume.

Other than Webb, the legendary Laura Davies and fan favourite Yani Tseng, who’ve both won twice, are the only other multiple champions. Although as world No.1’s to have won, that trio is joined by both crowd favourite Jiyai Shin, legendary Annika Sorenstam and New Zealand prodigy Lydia Ko.

The ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open will be played in Adelaide in 2017 and beyond.