Published: Aug 23, 2011 6:48 AM EDT
Updated: Aug 23, 2011 6:30 AM EDT

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - In what organizers are claiming to be a first for Australian professional golf, the men's and women's Victorian Open championships will be jointly played in 2012 with both titles culminating at the same course and with equal prize money on Jan. 8.

The men's state championship will be played over 72 holes from Thursday, Jan. 5 and the women's touranment will be over 54 holes from Friday, Jan. 8. Cuts will be made ahead of the weekend, with the final two rounds of each tournament being held be at the Spring Valley course.

A seeded draw will apply for the final day, with men's and women's groups alternately commencing rounds so that the leading group of men and the leading group of women will be last to start play from the 1st tee.