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Rusty 12-21-2009 06:28 PM

Australian Women's Open golf gets new sponsor
Golf-loving Japanese businessman Dr Haruhisa Handa has added the Australian Women's Open to the impressive list of worldwide tournaments he sponsors.

Golf Australia confirmed on Monday the 58-year-old had secured the naming rights to the Handa Australian Women's Open to be played at Melbourne's Commonwealth Golf Club (March 11-14) for two years.
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.
He currently sponsors the Australian Senior Open and Australia Cup and recently announced his intention to sponsor four new tournaments on the European Seniors Tour.

"I am already a strong supporter of women's golf in the United States, through my involvement with the LPGA Legends Tour," Dr Handa said in a statement on Monday.

"The addition of the Women's Australian Open to my sponsorship portfolio highlights my continued commitment to supporting golf at all levels, including my ongoing support of International Blind Golf and junior golf."
GA chief executive Steve Pitt, who confirmed Open prizemoney would be raised to $600,000, said with Dr Handa's generosity the tournament would have a world-class field.

"Early indications are that we will have perhaps the best field ever assembled for this championship," said Pitt.

"We're currently in negotiations with a few of the world's top 10 players but we're not in a position at the moment to reveal any names.
"However we're delighted our national women's championship will receive Dr Handa's enthusiastic support over the coming two years."

Women's Open golf gets new sponsor

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