MELBOURNE: The men’s and women’s Australian Open events will take place at the same time, at the same venues as part of efforts to widen golf’s appeal, organisers said on Friday. The tournaments will be held in the Sandbelt area of Melbourne on December 1-4 and there will be an equal split between men and women for the prize money, Golf Australia said. Victoria Golf Club will be the main host across all four days, with Kingston Heath Golf Club set to also host play on the first two days. The men’s edition will be sanctioned for the first time by the DP World Tour, formerly the European Tour. “This truly is a coup for Australian golf, it presents a great opportunity for the game and will take the two Open championships to another level,” Golf Australia chief executive James Sutherland said of the new arrangement. Last year’s men’s and women’s Australian Open golf tournaments both fell victim to the coronavirus pandemic. The men’s Australian Open, won previously by the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman and Rory McIlroy, was also cancelled in 2020 because of the virus. It was the first cancellation since 1945.