The Australian Open is set to soar to even greater heights with the announcement that Emirates will partner the championship as the new naming rights sponsor for the next three years in an agreement with event promoters World Sport Group. The sponsorship further deepens Emirates’ commitment to golf and sport Australia-wide. In addition to the Emirates Australian Open, Emirates is the Official Airline for 18 other golf tournaments worldwide including the Australian PGA Championship. “Emirates has enhanced our partnership with the Australian Open, one of the world’s oldest national golf opens, in conjunction with our continued support of the Australian market,” said Barry Brown, Emirates’ Vice President Australasia. “Since joining as the Official Airline of the Australian Open in 2009, Emirates has been an integral part of the success of Golf Australia and the growth of the championship, and we look forward to the future of the event as well as the promotion of the game of golf in New South Wales and Australia.” “We anticipate this year’s event will be one of the biggest ever, with a first class field of players competing to have their name inscribed on the Stonehaven Cup – alongside golfing greats such as Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, Tom Watson and Peter Thomson,” added Brown. “This is wonderful news for the Australian Open. Emirates is well known for being one of the world’s premium airlines and a leading supporter of golf tournaments across the globe,” said Golf Australia CEO Stephen Pitt. “The reputation of the Emirates Australian Open is built on winners from all over the world who are among the finest players in history and we’re very proud to welcome a major partner who also shares that commitment to excellence in everything they do,” Pitt added. The 2011 field already includes Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott, Greg Norman, Fred Couples, Jason Day, Bubba Watson and defending champion Geoff Ogilvy. NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events George Souris welcomed the news of Emirates coming on board as naming rights sponsor of the Australian Open. “Emirates’ support is a strong endorsement and takes the event to a new level. This year there is an outstanding line-up of players coming to Sydney including Tiger Woods, Geoff Ogilvy, Adam Scott, Presidents Cup captains Greg Norman and Fred Couples, Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson. “The NSW Government through Destination NSW is pleased to support the Emirates Australian Open which is a key international sports event on the NSW Events Calendar.“There is no doubt our city is synonymous with the Emirates Australian Open, having hosted the inaugural championship in 1904, on 35 occasions overall and continuously since 2006,” he said. Chief Executive Officer of the PGA Tour of Australasia Brian Thorburn said it was great news for this year’s Tour schedule. “Emirates has been a supporter of Australian golf for a number of years and we are thrilled to see their involvement grow to such a level for the Australian Open. This year’s Emirates Australian Open is sure to be a pinnacle event on this year’s Tour schedule and we look forward to working with them into the future,” said Thorburn. The 2011 Emirates Australian Open championship will be played at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney from 10th to 13th November.