Jiyai Shin
Jiyai Shin

RACV Royal Pines will continue its long association with women’s professional golf when it hosts a new professional tournament in February 2017.

Two months after the successful staging of the Australian PGA Championship over the RACV Royal Pines revamped championship layout, Royal Pines will again host a professional event when the inaugural RACV Gold Coast Challenge is staged from February 2 to 4.

The event will be played in a pro-am format over the opening two days with one professional and one amateur pairing in a 4-Ball Team contest. This will be played in conjunction with the individual professional contest. The leading fifty professionals and ties will graduate to the final day on Saturday 4 February.

Tournament officials are already delighted with the response they have had from many of Australia’s leading professionals with the winner of the 2016 RACV Ladies Masters, former world number one and former winner of the Women’s Australian Open, Jiyai Shin, already committing to the event.

Also playing will be four-time major championship winner, 20 time LPGA Tour winner, two-time Women’s Australian Open winner and three time winner of the RACV Ladies Masters, Laura Davies, along with Australian LPGA Tour players, Katherine Kirk, Sarah Jane Smith and Sarah Kemp and Ladies European Tour winner, Rebecca Artis, amongst other well-credentialed players.

In addition to the event securing the involvement of several highly regarded and world class players, sponsors such as Volvik, Cutter and Buck, Schweppes and the City of the Gold Coast have also given their support to ensure this new style event establishes a strong base on which to build in the years ahead.

ALPG CEO, Karen Lunn, expressed her delight in the response to the event.

“We are really excited that we have managed to secure players of the calibre of Jiyai Shin and Laura Davies to the 2017 RACV Gold Coast Challenge. Apart from being great characters both of these ladies have reached the pinnacle in women’s golf, having been the number one ranked player in the world.”

“We have also been overwhelmed by the level of support from our members, including Sarah Jane Smith coming off her best ever LPGA season, Katherine Kirk, Sarah Kemp, Stacey Keating, Rebecca Artis and Whitney Hillier all putting their hands up to play without any hesitation.

“They all share our vision for the tournament and understand the importance of this event in 2017 as a stepping stone to major women’s tournaments in Australia in the future.”

John Morris, General Manger RACV Resorts said RACV was pleased to be involved in establishing this new women’s event on the Gold Coast.

“RACV is delighted to be showcasing women’s golf at Royal Pines Resort’s championship course and sharing the resort’s wonderful facilities with the RACV Gold Coast Challenge players and the viewing public.

“With twelve months to mature, the RACV Royal Pines championship course received broad approval from the men at the recent Australian PGA Championship.

“We anticipate that the course and the facilities will receive similar accolades from the women’s field being assembled for the RACV Gold Coast Challenge,” Mr Morris said.

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