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International support gives New Zealand Open green light, with a Major twist

POSTED ON December 17, 2021 @ 7:26 am

Bob Charles with the British Open golf trophy, 1963.

The tournament organisers for the country’s premier golfing event, the New Zealand Open have had overwhelmingly positive support from their key stakeholders and as a result, today confirmed that the 102nd edition of the New Zealand Open will be played at Millbrook Resort between March 31 and April 3, 2022.

In confirming that the Tournament will now go ahead as scheduled, Tournament Chairman John Hart said it has been humbling to see such positive support from all stakeholders and the Tournament Organisers are confident following discussions with their co-sanctioning partners the PGA Tour of Australasia and Asian Tour, that 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,”

“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. Some of our International partners notwithstanding they will be unable to attend the event personally, have maintained their financial commitment to the Tournament,” said Hart

“We are extremely grateful to our Underwriters the Ishii family and Millbrook Resort for their commitment and support to enable the Tournament to proceed,” said Hart.

In addition to teeing it up to claim the Brodie Breeze trophy as the 102nd Champion, the professional players will have the added incentive of a potential spot at The Open played at St Andrews.

As confirmed by the R&A earlier today, for the first time, the New Zealand Open has been included in The Open Qualifying Series, which will see the top three finishers in the New Zealand Open gain a coveted place in the field for the 150th playing of The Open at St Andrews in July 2022.

“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”. said Hart.

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” said Murphy.

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.

For more information on The Open, please visit TheOpen.com.

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