Published: Oct 27, 2011 5:03 AM EDT
Updated: Oct 27, 2011 6:31 AM EDT

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - The LPGA is moving back into Australia, co-sanctioning the Women's Australian Open in February at Royal Melbourne.

The LPGA said in a statement Thursday that the $1.1 million Australian Open will be played from Feb. 9-12 and begin a three-tournament swing in Asia that includes stops in Thailand and Singapore. In 2013, the Australian Open will move to Royal Canberra.

The defending Australian champion is No. 1-ranked Yani Tseng, who won at Commonwealth Golf Club in Melbourne this year.

The Australian Ladies Masters was co-sanctioned by the LPGA and Australian Ladies Professional Golf from 1997-2000, and the groups also sanctioned an unofficial team event in Perth in 2007.

Four-time Australian Open winner Karrie Webb said she's pleased the LPGA has returned Down Under.

"As an Australian, I'm very happy to see the LPGA playing back in my home country," Webb said. "I know the Melbourne sport fans will support the event in the true fanatical way they always do."