Asian Tour to play a bigger part in New Zealand Open
The New Zealand Open is set to take a major step forward with the announcement of an agreement with the lucrative Asian Tour, commencing with this month’s event at Millbrook Resort and The Hills in Queenstown.
Up to 10 Asian Tour members were eligible for this month’s tournament and that could be increased for the following two years, said the tournament’s chairman John Hart.
“We are delighted to enter into a partnership with the Asian Tour,” Hart said.
“From the outset we have set about to create a unique golf event that will ultimately be recognised as the pre-eminent pro-am tournament in the Asia-Pacific region, and this connection to the Asian Tour is another important step in us achieving that aim.
“We look forward to working with our current partners, the PGA Tour of Australasia, the Japan Golf Tour and now the Asian Tour, as we continue to extend our boundaries.”
Asian Tour chief executive Josh Burack hailed the new partnership with the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open, saying it was a significant development for the growth of professional golf in the Asia-Pacific region.
Burack said: “On behalf of our talented and diverse membership, I would like to express our fullest appreciation to tournament chairman John Hart, tournament director Michael Glading and their team for inviting Asian Tour members to participate in the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open.”
Burack added: “This will be the first time in our history that the Asian Tour will visit New Zealand. It is an honour for the Asian Tour to take part in this outstanding golf tournament that features a unique pro-am format. Our members are very excited at the opportunity to showcase their talents at the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open. From an initial 10 members competing, our involvement will hopefully grow to a full sanctioning position in 2018 and 2019 which is fantastic news as we continue to expand playing opportunities for our members.
“I would also like to extend our gratitude to the PGA Tour of Australasia which is the home tour of this great tournament. We look forward to working closely with the tournament’s key stakeholders to ensure the event’s continued success and stature in the world of golf.”