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Hannah Green commits to Australian Open

Trailblazing former major winner Hannah Green is the latest big name to commit to the first Australian Open golf championship since COVID-19 wiped out the 2020 and 2021 editions.

Green announced on Monday she’d be teeing up at Melbourne’s famed Kingston Heath layout and the Victoria Golf Club from December 1-4 in what will be an historic event for the sport.

In a world first at a national golf open, the men’s and women’s championships will be played simultaneously.

The two courses will be used for the first and second rounds on Thursday and Friday before Victoria hosts the final two rounds following the halfway cut.

The men and women will hit off in alternate groups all four days, from two different tee boxes.

Both the men and women will play for equal prize money – a minimum purse of $1.7 million for each event – at the richest event on the 2022/23 ISPS Handa Australasian Tour – with officials predicting that could yet increase.

The Open will also feature an All-Age Abilities category, meaning three tournaments will be held at once.

Green’s inclusion in the women’s field comes after PGA Tour star Lucas Herbert announced his participation last week.

Newly crowned British Open champion Cameron Smith has also all but confirmed he will return from the US to try to win his national championship for the first time.

Green is an ambassador for the tour’s major sponsor but said, regardless, she wouldn’t have missed the Australian Open in its new-age format for anything.

“When I heard that the men’s and women’s Opens were coming together for the first time, I knew that I wanted to be there,” said the 25-year-old world No.19.

Green created history in February when she became the first woman to win a 72-hole mixed-gender tournament, prevailing at the TPS Murray River event.

“We’ve experienced this kind of concept, with men and women playing together on the same courses at the same time, at the Vic Open and the Webex Players Series events, and to have it in place for the first time at a national Open is going to be something special,” said the 2019 Women’s US PGA Championship winner.

Green has enjoyed another great year on the LPGA Tour, logging six top-10 finishes including a top-five in a major, the PGA Championship in Maryland last month.

Having won the Vic Open the week before, Green will be chasing a rare hat-trick of victories on Australian soil when she arrives in Melbourne.

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