Next Year’s editions of the Geoff King Motors Australian Ladies Classic – Bonville and the Worrells Women’s NSW Open have fallen victim to travel restrictions surrounding COVID-19.
With Australia’s borders effectively closed until at least mid-2021, Golf NSW in conjunction with the Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG) and the Ladies European Tour (LET) made the difficult decision to cancel the twin championships for next year.
Stuart Fraser, CEO of Golf NSW, said with international participation impossible the decision to cancel was inevitable.
“It is disappointing for all involved. We rely on international players for the success of both these tournaments, and with travel to our shores out of the question, we had no alternative.
“Regional NSW has played host to these two significant events in past years, and we will sorely miss the excitement they generate.
“When border restrictions ease, we will be working with the LET and ALPG to ensure the tournaments return in 2022,” Mr Fraser said.
ALPG CEO Karen Lunn echoed Mr Fraser’s comments.
“It’s extremely disappointing when we have worked so hard to build these events to the point that they have both found a regular slot on the ALPG and LET’s annual tournament schedules,” Ms Lunn said.
Having marked the beginning of the LET schedule for the past three years, the Geoff King Motors Australian Ladies Classic and the WorrellsWomen’s NSW Open were significant events for both local athletes and the visiting contingent of European stars.
Earlier this year, teen sensation Stephanie Kyriacou romped to an eight-shot victory in the Geoff King Motors Australian Ladies Classic at Bonville. She immediately turned professional then embarked on a whirlwind run on Tour, making the cut in her first Major Championship at the AIG Women’s Open followed by top-five finishes in the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and France.
With only four events left to play in the 2020 LET season, Kyriacou currently sits in seventh place on the Race to Costa del Sol, and just one spot behind England’s Alice Hewson in the race for ‘Rookie of the Year’ spoils.
Another popular destination amongst the LET membership, the Worrells Women’s NSW Open has been a fixture on the LET for the past three years, with the 2020 edition at Dubbo Golf Club also yielding a teenage winner, Sweden’s Julia Engstrom.
The Dubbo crown was Engstrom’s maiden title down-under. The Swedish star has since gone on to snare even more silverware at the Lacoste Ladies Open de France, where she recorded a hole-in-one in the process.
Despite the loss of the two events for 2021, CEO of the Ladies European Tour, Alexandra Armas said the organisations remained hopeful of seeing the tournaments back on the calendar in 2022.
“We are disappointed to announce the decision to postpone both popular tournaments as we look to confirm our 2021 schedule.
“Our players have become used to starting their season in Australia, so it was an extremely difficult decision for us to break an established tradition.”
“We have a long-standing relationship with the ALPG and are building a strong foundation for the future with Golf NSW, which we will continue to nurture for many years to come. We look forward to building on the success of this year and returning in 2022,” Ms Armas added.