The Australian Masters is an annual golf tournament on the PGA Tour of Australasia. The tournament was founded in 1979, and was co-sanctioned by the European Tour for the first time in 2006, with a significant 20% increase in the prize fund. Because the tournament is played late in the calendar year, in November or December, it formed part of the following year's European Tour schedule from 2006 through 2008. With the European Tour's decision to realign its schedule with the calendar year for 2010, the 2009 event was the first to be part of the current calendar year's tour schedule. The co-sanctioning with the European Tour was dropped after the 2009 event.
Until 2008, the Australian Masters was always held at the Huntingdale Golf Club in South Oakleigh, Victoria, Australia, but from 2009, a rotation system will be introduced and the event will be staged at different courses in the Melbourne area.
Home golfers have dominated the event, with former world number one Greg Norman having the most success, winning the Gold Jacket on six occasions. Overseas players to have taken the title include European Ryder Cup stars, Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie.
On 18 March 2009 the Victorian State Government announced a major coup, confirming that then World Number 1 Tiger Woods would play in the 2009 event at its new venue, Kingston Heath. The announcement caused a minor public backlash due to 50% of Woods' A$3 million appearance fee being paid by taxpayer funds. Woods' appearance was tipped to generate close to A$20 million for the Victorian economy via tourism and other related areas.
The 2011 event was held at Victoria Golf Club.
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... with its development as a Club, and advancement as an Australian Championship Golf Course, the future of Huntingdale Golf Club is secure ... March 1979 with the inaugural hosting of The Australian Masters, Huntingdale has emerged as one of the most recognisable golf courses in Australia, and the world ... Huntingdale has hosted the Australian Masters since its inception in 1979 ...
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“Good masters generally have bad slaves, and bad slaves have good masters.”
—Herodotus (c. 484424 B.C.)
“Beyond the horizon, or even the knowledge, of the cities along the coast, a great, creative impulse is at workthe only thing, after all, that gives this continent meaning and a guarantee of the future. Every Australian ought to climb up here, once in a way, and glimpse the various, manifold life of which he is a part.”
—Vance Palmer (18851959)