KIWI KIDS TO FEATURE AT NZ OPEN

28/02/2018

 

The 99th ISPS Handa New Zealand Open is finally here which provides our young Kiwis the chance to shine at Millbrook Resort and The Hills from tomorrow morning.

New Zealand’s pinnacle golf tournament includes with a star-studded field so players such as Daniel Hillier, Mark Hutson, Nick Voke, Ryan Chisnall and final qualifier Fraser MacLachlan have the chance to learn from the best on the perfect pathway to professionalism.

Rookie-pro Voke has been given the opportunity to play alongside marquee signing KJ Choi. This is the Aucklander’s first New Zealand Open as a professional and come 12:22pm tomorrow, he will be surrounded by large day one golfing galleries.

Choi, who won the 2011 Players Championship is excited about the opportunity to play with one of the country’s exciting young talents.

“I’ve heard a lot about him and I’m looking forward to seeing him,” Choi said.

“Hopefully I’ll have an opportunity to interact with him and be able to give him some advice. Hopefully I get some good vibes from him, he’s a young player, up and coming. Whatever I can provide I’m happy to do that, we’ll have a lot of fun and hopefully we can be relaxed ad have a great time out on the course.”

Current New Zealand stroke play champion, Hutson is in the first group off in the morning to play at The Hills as he looks to build on what has been a stellar year for the North Harbour representative who is making his debut this week.

At the other end of the scale, New Zealand Amateur Champion, Hillier is last off the tee and after finishing leading amateur in 2017, he is looking to build on that experience.

Toomey has arrived here with weight off his shoulders after securing two tour cards in China recently. He now has status on the PGA Tour of China and The China Tour as he looks to add the Brodie Breeze trophy to his cabinet.

This time last year Toomey claimed the early lead at the New Zealand Open after a round one total of four-under, which he will be aiming to replicate at 8:36am tomorrow.

Chisnall has enjoyed a solid start to his professional career after a tied seventh result at the Vic Open which contributed to his $20,000 of prize money on the PGA Tour of Australasia in just four starts.

New Zealand Golf CEO, Dean Murphy was excited about the 99th New Zealand Open and reiterated what this tournament means for New Zealand Golf and their players.

“The goal of this event is to present an opportunity and a playing pathway for our young golfers and we’re aiming obviously for these players to go on to the next stage in their career, and that’s really what it’s about,” said Murphy.

A caddie/golfer combination that will also be of interest this week is that of Luke Brown and Double Olympic Champion and eight-time World Champion rower, Eric Murray. On this occasion Brown will be carrying the clubs instead of swinging them and has the opportunity to learn from one of our greatest sportsmen.

27 Kiwis will tee it up tomorrow as we look to make it back to back home victories in Queenstown.

-ENDS-

 

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  • OOM LEADERBOARD

    RANK PLAYER SCORE
    1 Hillier, Daniel 134.67
    2 Mountcastle, Kerry 111.87
    3 McLean, Matthew 108.29
    4 Lee, Jang Hyun 90.89
    5 Koong, Kevin 86.92
    RANK PLAYER SCORE
    1 Dryland, Brittney 194.37
    2 Jung, Miree 137.32
    3 Hung, Juliana 136.13
    4 Lu, Vivian 127.43
    5 Lim, Carmen 106.61