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Australian Masters back at Kingston Heath

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP)

The Australian Masters returns to Kingston Heath in Melbourne, site of Tiger Woods' 2009 victory, when the PGA Tour of Australasia begins its late 2012 season.

The tour announced Thursday that the Masters will be held Nov. 15-18 at the sandbelt course in southeast Melbourne, followed by the New Zealand Open on Nov. 22-25 at the Clearwater Resort in Christchurch.

The tour then returns across the Tasman Sea to Sydney for the Australian Open at The Lakes on Dec. 6-9, followed by the Australian PGA at the Coolum Golf and Spa on Queensland state's Sunshine Coast on Dec. 13-16.

The Open and PGA, both co-sanctioned by the OneAsia tour, will carry prize money of $1.5 million, the Masters a minimum of $1 million.

Previously announced by the tour was the $2 million Perth International at Lake Karrinyup Country Club in Western Australia from Oct. 18-21, marking the return of the European Tour to Australia for the first time since 2009.

''It is expected that the full 2012 PGA Tour of Australasia schedule will comprise of 14 events in total, with an increase in prize money of over 35 percent compared to 2011,'' said tour chief executive Brian Thorburn, including state championships which will be determined later.

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