Six of NZ’s best for Asia-Pacific tournament in Korea

Six of New Zealand’s top ranked amateur golfers will travel to Korea next month for the eighth edition of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship.
The six are Nick Voke (Auckland), Ryan Chisnall (Tasman), Luke Toomey (Waikato), Nick Coxon (Waikato), Daniel Hillier (Wellington) and Luke Brown (Northland).
The Asia-Pacific tournament is played annually at a different venue throughout the Asia-Pacific region and in 2017 will be staged in Wellington at the Royal Wellington Golf Club.
The event is organised by the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation in conjunction with the Masters Tournament and the Royal & Ancient. The winner receives an invitation to the US Masters and, along with the runner-up, gains entry to The Open qualifying series for The Open Championship.
This year’s tournament, to be held from October 6-9, will be broadcast to more than 150 countries.
This electrifying Kiwi side has a great mix of experience and youth with Voke, Chisnall, Toomey and Coxon all being part of the 2015 side that impressed in Hong Kong. It is also an exciting opportunity for debutants such as Hillier who had a stand-out summer as he looks to test himself against the world’s best.
Chisnall has been selected for many New Zealand sides but his excitement levels never change when he gets the chance to don clothing sporting the silver fern.
“It's always an honour to play for your country and this year I believe we have an exciting team that can really compete well on the world stage," Chisnall said.
"For sure, it's exciting to be returning but it's not just me having a bit of experience with Vokey, Luke and Nick there as well. The balance of the side this year is really nice and we will head to Korea with high hopes."
There is an exciting aura about 18-year-old Hiller from Wellington’s Manor Park Golf Sanctuary as he looks set to make his Asia-Pacific debut and for good reason.
His trophy cabinet includes the New Zealand Amateur Championship, the New Zealand under-19 Strokeplay Championship and the Harewood Open on New Zealand’s Charles Tour.
In March of this year Hillier was also the leading amateur at the New Zealand Open in Queenstown while in April he won the Australia Junior Champion, which has earned him a start in the Australian Open in November.
Hillier found it hard to hide his joy when talking about the upcoming trip to Seoul in Korea.
“I’m incredibly grateful to be given this opportunity,’’ Hillier said.
“I’ve had some awesome experiences over the past 18 months, and being able to head to Seoul for my first Asia-Pacific Amateur will be an experience I’ll never forget.
“It'll be my biggest amateur event to date and I'm sure I'll learn a lot about myself and my game during the week. To be able to head over there with some of the Kiwi lads who I have looked up to since I first started playing national events is a pretty cool feeling. I can't wait to get out there and enjoy the experience.”
Brown will also make his Asia-Pacific debut after impressing throughout a northern hemisphere summer. The Northland No 1 has recently been touring around Europe and gaining vital experience on the international scene.
Since its inauguration in 2009, the Asia-Pacific has produced an impressive list of winners, including two-time champion Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, who has risen to world No 19 and continues to be dominant on the world stage.
The tournament will feature 120 players from the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation’s 39 member associations and will be played over 72 holes of strokeplay, with a cut for the leading 60 players plus ties after 36 holes.