Hopefuls tee-off in chase for spots in ISPS Handa New Zealand Open

Over 140 golfers from throughout the country will begin the process to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, which is the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open in Queenstown.


New Zealand Golf will run four regional qualifying tournaments throughout the country next week, with 25 players to earn spots in final qualifying for the nation’s premier golf tournament.

Only six players will ultimately progress from final qualifying events in Wellington and Cromwell on Monday 26 February to the final field for the 99th ISPS Handa New Zealand Open in Queenstown on 1 to 4 March at Millbrook Resort and The Hills.

New Zealand Golf general manager Dave Mangan said they were pleased with the 141 entries, up from 120 last year.

Eighteen players will tee it up at the regional qualifier in Otago at the Otago Golf Club (Balmacewen); 35 entered at the Christchurch Golf Club (Shirley) and 23 at Wellington’s Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club. These three events will be on Monday 29 January. The final regional event has attracted 65 entries to the Titirangi Golf Club in Auckland on Tuesday 30 January.

The 25 successful players, decided on a pro rata basis, will go through to the final qualifying tournaments at either Paraparaumu Beach or Cromwell golf clubs on Monday 27 February. They will join the exempt amateurs and professionals who miss out on direct entry, with the six leading scorers, again on a pro rata basis, to move through to the final field for the $1.2 million ISPS Handa New Zealand Open.

“It is encouraging to see so many players chase a dream of playing in the New Zealand Open,” said Mangan. “At this stage our 10 top amateurs on the Order of Merit at the end of 2017 and the leading 50 players from the New Zealand PGA Order of Merit are automatically through to final qualifying.

“We have several professionals and a mix of young and experienced amateurs who will take their chance at the regional qualifiers.”

That includes a couple of sons of guns in the Auckland regional qualifier. Sam Reese, who was a leading player at Westlake Boys High School and now based out of Hamilton, is the son of former New Zealand Amateur and New Zealand PGA Champion Stuart Reese.

Likewise Queenstown-based Sam Turner, son of the two-time New Zealand Open champion, Greg Turner, will venture north to play in the Auckland qualifier.

There are entries from USA and Canada with the New Zealand amateurs spread from Kerikeri to Invercargill.

For details: www.golf.co.nz

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About the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open:

  • The tournament is one of New Zealand’s leading sporting events with a long and prestigious history. The New Zealand Open, which was founded in 1907, will be played for the 99th time in 2018.
  • The tournament is a co-sanctioned event on the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia and Asian Tour schedules.
  • A professional field of 144 players will play the first two rounds alternately at Millbrook Resort and The Hills before the second round cut of 60 players plus ties.
  • The final two rounds of the championship will be played at Millbrook Resort.
  • The ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open Champion will be the leading player after 72 holes of stroke play
  • The tournament also hosts 144 amateur players, each partnering with a Professional in a two-man best-ball event, competing for the ISPS HANDA NZ Pro-Am Championship.

About ISPS Handa:

International Sports Promotion Society (known as ISPS or as ISPS Handa) is a corporation designed to carry out activities contributing to social welfare and international co-operation through the promotion of sports and sporting values. Founder Dr Haruhisa Handa is known as ‘The Father of Blind Golf in Japan’ due to the leading role he played in introducing the game of blind golf to the country.

ISPS Handa has a long history of supporting golf events around the globe, sponsoring tournaments on almost every major golf tour including the European Tour, PGA Tour, European Senior Tour, Asian Tour, Legends Tour, LPGA, Ladies European Tour, Japan PGA, Sunshine Tour, Golf Australia and the Australasian PGA. ISPS Handa has expanded to advocate for the recognition of differently-abled golfers, such as wounded veterans, in addition to blind golf. ISPS Handa offers training academies and inclusion opportunities in co-operation with some of golf’s most prestigious events.

ISPS Handa is a strong advocate for the ‘power of sport’ and its ability to create hope, to inspire people, and transform society. It is this conviction that has been the backbone of ISPS 's dedication to providing opportunities for blind and disabled golfers worldwide, with the long-term aim of enabling golf to become a Paralympic sport.

About ISPS Australasian PGA Tour:

As one of the leading Professional golf tours worldwide, the PGA Tour of Australasia is the elite tournament destination for Professional golf in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. All tournaments on the PGA Tour of Australasia carry Official World Golf Ranking points. The PGA of Australia sanctions around 300 tournaments across the Australasia region offering a total prize pool in excess of NZ$13 million.

The PGA Tour of Australasia is a founding member of the International Federation of PGA Tours. The International Federation is responsible for generating funds for the worldwide development and expansion of the game and the management and sanctioning of prestigious tournaments including the World Golf Championships and the World Cup of Golf.

About Asian Tour:

The Asian Tour is the official regional sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia. The mission is to expand tournament golf so as to substantially enhance the careers of its members, thereby developing and growing golf in Asia while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, provides its events with Official World Ranking status. Its principal role is the sanctioning, management, marketing, technical administration, development and promotion of professional golf tournaments in the region.




    Order of Merit data is currently unavailable please check back later

    Order of Merit data is currently unavailable please check back later