Golf boss Sutherland upbeat on dual Open

Golf Australia boss James Sutherland hopes a dual-gender Australian Open can be staged in Sydney next year after the success of the 2022 event in Melbourne.

James Sutherland is hoping to take the revolutionary dual-gender Australian Open to Sydney next year but says he needs buy-in from all relevant stakeholders to do so.

While conceding the world-first format may need some tweaking, the Golf Australia boss on Sunday hailed the concurrent running of the men's, women's and all-abilities Australian Open events as a "great success".

Massive galleries flocked to the co-hosting Victoria and Kingston Heath clubs to see the nation's elite stars return to Australian fairways for the first time since before COVID-19.

The contentious double-cut denied fans the chance to watch British Open champion Cameron Smith play on Sunday after the world No.3 failed to finish his third round among the top 30 and ties.

The laidback people's champion still went out of his way to sign autographs and pose for selfies with starstruck spectators after bowing out on Saturday, delighting Sutherland.

"The support we've had from Australian players and leading Australian players has been phenomenal for this event," Sutherland said.

"And we know that they're the headline acts and I think they've been treated accordingly by the Australian crowds.

"If the fan engagement around this event is any measure, then it's been a great success."

And he hopes to do it all again in 2023.

Officials are committed to returning the men's Open to The Australian Golf Club in Sydney next year and Sutherland says "it's the intention" to see the women's championship also staged at the same time.

"But we don't have everything in place with all the relevant parties - sponsors, government, or host venues and what have you and I'm not taking anything for granted," he said.

He wouldn't speculate on which course could potentially co-host another dual-gender Open but The Lakes and neighbouring Bonnie Doon are the most obvious options.

"At this stage, it's just The Australian for next year locked in," Sutherland said.

"We wanted to get to the other side of this event to understand that and then we'll go to the next stage obviously.

"We can't just look at it subjectively from afar. We'll go through a pretty significant process of review and understand all the things that have worked and haven't worked.

"(We) understand there'll be always always be little hiccups. I understand there's various conversations floating around speed of play yesterday or whatever.

"But it's a tough course, right, and tough conditions and there's a lot at stake so people are sort of adjusting."

The other challenge is the timing, with a December Australian Open reasonably well-placed before the January resumption of the PGA Tour in America.

But the LPGA doesn't start again until February.

"The issue with Australian golf is our summer season has progressively been squeezed for a number of years and the window is getting tighter and tighter," Sutherland said.

"We're a small player in a huge global golf market."