The Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour (ALPG) announced yesterday that ANZ Bank had agreed to sponsor the Australian Ladies Masters at the Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast, Queensland, from March 8-11, 2001.

The Masters, which is joint-sanctioned with the Evian Ladies European Tour (LET) and features as the opening event on its 2001 circuit, will now be called the ANZ Ladies Masters.

Event organisers Tuohy Associates also confirmed that a number of the world’s leading players had already confirmed their participation in the £200,000 tournament, including defending champion and world number one Karrie Webb, European number one Sophie Gustafson of Sweden, and England’s former world number one Laura Davies.

‘For the past four years ANZ has supported many of Australia’s professional men’s golf tournaments, including the ANZ Tour, the ANZ Victorian Open in Melbourne and the ANZ Championship in Sydney,’ said Greg Camm, ANZ Managing Director Mortgages.

‘We are pleased to extend our support to the ANZ Ladies Masters, a tournament that promises to showcase the finest women’s golfing talent from around the world.’

The tournament is also supported by the Queensland State Government through the Queensland Events Corporation, and is now seen as one of the biggest international sports events staged in the state each year.

LET Chief Executive Tim Howland, greeted the announcement with enthusiasm and welcomed ANZ Bank as a new naming sponsor on the Evian Tour.

‘ANZ Bank is one of the most prestigious brands in the Southern Hemisphere and this is a terrific development for women’s golf in Australia and for the Evian Tour as a whole,’ said Howland.

‘This is the Evian Tour’s first season of joint-sanctioning the ANZ Ladies Masters, and we look forward to developing a strong working relationship with Tuohy Associates and the ANZ Bank in the years to come.

‘The ANZ Ladies Masters has attracted a very strong field, it has a first class venue in the Royal Pines Resort and I know that many of our members are very much looking forward it. It should be a wonderful week of golf for the state of Queensland.’

Last year, Webb dramatically birdied the final two holes to defeat Canadian Lorie Kane by a solitary shot. It was Webb’s third victory in succession at Royal Pines, her second of the year on the LPGA Tour and came on the back of her victory a week earlier in the AAMI Women’s Australian Open.

Davies, who will be playing in both the Masters and the Open, finished joint third last season despite having a share of the lead going into the final day.

For further information please contact:

Terence O’Rorke
LET Communications
Tel: + 44 (0)207 245 9902
Fax: + 44 (0)207 245 6981