New Zealand Open confirmed for next year

17 Dec, 2021 - 00:12 0 Views
New Zealand Open confirmed for next year Australia’s Brad Kennedy with the Brodie Breeze trophy after winning the 101st New Zealand Golf Open at Millbrook Golf Course last year. — Photosport

eBusiness Weekly

The New Zealand Open has been confirmed for next year with an added twist that tournament organisers hope will attract more international players.

The 102nd edition of Aotearoa’s premier golfing event will be played at Millbrook Resort in Queenstown on March 31.

In addition to teeing it up to claim the Brodie Breeze trophy, the field will have the added incentive of a potential spot at The Open Championship at St Andrews in July 2022.

For the first time in the tournament’s history, the New Zealand Open has been included in The Open Qualifying Series, which will see the top three finishers gain a coveted place in the field for the British major.

Tournament Chairman John Hart said organisers are confident a strong international field will be able to attend the Queenstown-based event, subject only to arriving at satisfactory options for players having to self-isolate upon entry to New Zealand.

“We have had initial conversations with a number of international based players who have indicated that they would be willing to isolate ahead of the tournament if practice facilities were available.

“We are now working through options with the Government on how this will work and are confident in finding a positive outcome for all,” Hart said.

“In such difficult times caused by the pandemic, it is extremely gratifying that the sponsors and partners of the tournament have given us their full support in hosting the New Zealand Open next year.”

“To have three guaranteed spots for the top finishers at the New Zealand Open at The Open is exceptional news, and we believe this will draw more and more international players to Queenstown in March,”Hart added.

Golf New Zealand chief executive Dean Murphy commented that “this opportunity adds significantly to the history of the New Zealand Open”.

“It’s pretty exciting that our national championship in New Zealand has been given the opportunity to have three places at the 150th milestone playing of The Open.

We hope that this extra incentive provides those in the field a little more motivation to be at the top of the leaderboard when the final putt is sunk at Millbrook next year.

“All kiwi golfers have a close affinity with The Open, following Sir Bob Charles’ win back in 1963. Today’s announcement represents a real opportunity for another Kiwi to compete for the Claret Jug.”

Sir Bob Charles, who famously claimed the Claret Jug in 1963 over American Phil Rodgers and became the first Kiwi to win a Major, said:

“I am delighted the R&A have recognised the New Zealand Open with this great opportunity and I hope that we will see more Kiwis play in this historic event.”

The New Zealand Open is scheduled to be played between March 31 and April 3 2022, across 36 holes at Millbrook Resort. The tournament will be broadcast by Sky Sport in New Zealand and through various networks internationally, showcasing the best of Queenstown and New Zealand to the world.

The Open Qualifying Series will give golfers
from all around the world the opportunity to claim places in the field at St Andrews at 16 professional events across 11 countries, including the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, PGA Tour of Australasia, Asian Tour, Korean
Tour, Japan Golf Tour and Sunshine Tour, where a minimum of 46 places in The Open are available. — NZ Herald.

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