Alterations at Millbrook could make for dramatic finish
Organisers believe a reconfigured Millbrook Resort will provide an exciting finish to the upcoming $1 million New Zealand Open in Queenstown.
Millbrook Resort, which comprises three nine-hole configurations, is the tournament co-host for the 93rd ISPS Handa New Zealand Openfrom March 9-12.
Two signature holes from the Coronet Nine and the Arrow Nine have been combined as the finishing holes, to maximise the atmosphere created by the amphitheatre surrounding the Millhouse Restaurant.
“The new layout will create a superb finish and ensure a spectacular spectator experience,” said Millbrook Resort’s Brian Spicer.
The tournament organisers have turned the current final hole of the Coronet Nine to the 17th hole, to be followed by the finishing 18th hole which is the current 9th hole on the Arrow Course.
“We will finish with a reachable par five over water as the 17th and a par three which is virtually surrounded by water as the 18th, which should add drama to the conclusion,” Spicer added.
“The 18th hole is a relatively straight forward par three but in a tournament like this, you never can tell. It all came down to the last few holes at The Hills last year, proving anything can happen at the close of a tournament.
“It has the potential to be an eagle three and birdie two finish or dependant on conditions and the situation, it can just as easily be a bogey six and double bogey five. The nerves could tell.”
The first two days of the tournament will be played on both Millbrook Resort and The Hills, with the final two rounds at Millbrook Resort.
Tournament director Michael Glading is delighted with the course layout plans.
“We’re incredibly fortunate to have two great courses to showcase our national open, and look forward to an exciting event,” Glading said.
“The configuration of the final two holes at Millbrook Resort will bring new drama to the event.
“The 18th hole at The Hills has been pivotal to the final showdown in previous years, and we’re confident that by creating two climatic holes we’ll add a real sense of theatre this year.”
Two New Zealand Open champions, who won the Brodie Breeze Trophy six times between them, were master-minds of Millbrook Resort’s layout. The original 18-hole course was designed in 1993 by golfing legend Sir Bob Charles, a four-time New Zealand Open winner.
Local Queenstown former professional Greg Turner, the 1989 and 1997 NZ Open champion, designed the Coronet Nine in 2009 and remodelled the existing 18-hole course.