The ISPS Handa New Zealand Women’s Open in Christchurch has forged a reputation of attracting the best players in the world and that is expected to continue in 2016 with players attending from the Ladies European Tour (LET), LPGA Tour and Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG) Tour.
World No.1 Lydia Ko has been a central figure in the tournament’s success and now she is confirmed to return, she will be the highest ranked player in the field for 12 - 14 February but she is not alone in her world class standing.
The tournament has consistently attracted major champions and some household names from women’s golf:
Laura Davies:
  • Member of the World Golf Hall of Fame
  • Won the NZ Women's Open in 2010 to at the Pegasus Golf and Sports Club
  • Won 84 professional titles including 4 major championships
  • Regarded as one of the all-time greats of the sport
  • Has only missed one NZ Women's Open since 2009.
Gwladys Nocera:
  • Played the inaugural event in 2009
  • Winner of the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit in 2009.
  • A mad rugby fan and a keen follower of the All Blacks
And the list goes on... All in all, many of the world’s biggest names have come to the ISPS Handa NZ Women’s Open showing it is a tournament that is widely respected on the international stage

The New Zealand Open has secured a new major funding partner.

Japan-based non-profit corporation ISPS Handa are joining BMW as co-naming rights partner for what will become the
BMW ISPS Handa New Zealand Open.

Both BMW and ISPS Handa have invested significantly in golf events around the world, and the New Zealand Open is fortunate to have the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of these two major golf partners in supporting its 2016 event.

BMW ISPS Handa New Zealand Open Organising Committee Chairman John Hart expressed his delight at the formation of this unique partnership.

“It’s never easy creating an event of this magnitude in a market as relatively small as New Zealand. We’re very proud of the growth we’ve achieved over the past four years, and this new partnership will undoubtedly assist us in moving forward.

“This addition to our family of sponsors and supporters further illustrates the impact the BMW ISPS Handa NZ Open is having on the Japanese market, in particular.

“Our event has forged a close relationship with the Japan Golf Tour, and today’s announcement is further testament to the impact we’re having on the bigger picture Japan-New Zealand relationship.

“For 2016 we now not only have a co-naming rights Japan-based partner, we also have continued support from other Japanese corporates like Oji Holdings, Sumitomo Forestry and JTB.

“The amount invested by all Japanese stakeholders in the BMW ISPS Handa NZ Open has now reached a level that’s really significant.

“BMW is an iconic brand at the forefront of golf throughout the world, and we’re particularly indebted to the BMW New Zealand team who have embraced this new partnership.

“Like BMW, ISPS Handa is an organization with a strong global golfing pedigree. Dr Haruhisa Handa has a passion to support blind and disabled golf, and we’re thrilled to have such a philanthropic and generous partner alongside the good people at BMW.”

BMW Group New Zealand Managing Director Florian Renndorfer welcomed ISPS Handa to the tournament, adding that he too was really pleased to have another major golfing partner involved in the BMW ISPS Handa NZ Open.

“BMW Group is the world’s leading manufacturer of premium vehicles and has a long and proud heritage of supporting premier golf events.

“BMW has been involved with golf in New Zealand for almost twenty-five years and have found our involvement in the sport, especially partnering in a prestigious event such as the BMW ISPS Handa NZ Open, is an ideal environment to promote BMW’s key strengths of precision, dynamism, sportsmanship and being the Ultimate Driving Machine.”

Speaking on behalf of ISPS Handa, Executive Director Midori Miyazaki said ISPS is excited to partner with BMW to help grow the tournament to a new level.

“We are looking forward to working alongside BMW in bringing this unique event to the world. We are particularly supportive of the linkages that the BMW ISPS Handa New Zealand Open furthers between New Zealand and Japan.

“We are eager to see ‘the power of sport’ and the values it espouses enhance the strong relationship between our two nations.”

The BMW ISPS Handa New Zealand Open is a one-million dollar Tier One event on the PGA Tour of Australasia, in partnership with the Japan Golf Tour. The 2016 event will be played from March 10 to March 13 at two iconic Queenstown courses, The Hills and Millbrook.

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 ofsports and sports 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. They are currently the title sponsor for the NZ Women’s Open, to be played at Clearwater in early February 2016. 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 the BMW ISPS Handa New Zealand Open:

-The tournament is a sanctioned Tier One event on the PGA Tour of Australasia.
-A professional field of 144 players will play the first two rounds alternately at The Hills
and Millbrook Resort before the second round cut of 60 + ties
-The final two rounds of the championship will be played at The Hills
-The BMW 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 NZ Pro-Am Championship

Tickets on sale: as from November 13 2015.

Follow developments for the BMW ISPS Handa New Zealand Open:

Facebook: NZ Open

@NZOpenGolf #NZOpen @BMW @ISPSGolf #TheHills #Millbrook

About the PGA Tour of Australasia:

-The PGA Tour of Australasia is the elite tournament destination for professional golf in Australasia.
-The PGA Tour of Australasia encompasses events in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific
-All tournaments on the PGA Tour of Australasia carry Official World Golf Ranking points
-As one of the leading professional golf tours the world over, the PGA Tour of Australasia is a founding member of the International Federation of PGA Tours

For further media information please contact:

BMW ISPS Handa New Zealand Open Media Manager
Fiona Woodham – Southern PR
0274 313 270 / 03 441 1117


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