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New Zealand Golf Magazine - - CONTENTS -

The ten New Zealand Am­a­teur

golfers to play this year's Asi­aPa­cific Am­a­teur Cham­pi­onship have been named. It will be the first time the event has been con­tested in New Zealand.

The host club, Royal Welling­ton Golf Club, are look­ing for­ward to hav­ing the best am­a­teur golfers from the Asia- Pa­cific re­gion con­test for the pres­ti­gious ti­tle from Oc­to­ber 26th - 29th.

The group, headed by Nick Voke, will all have a chance of se­cur­ing a place at both the 2018 Mas­ters Tour­na­ment and 147th Open Cham­pi­onship by be­com­ing the 2017 Asia-Pa­cific Am­a­teur Cham­pion.

New Zealand Golf's High Per­for­mance Man­ager Gregg Thorpe is look­ing for­ward to the prospect of New Zealand host­ing the event and there­fore hav­ing ten play­ers in the field to vie for the ti­tle.

“The last week in Oc­to­ber will rep­re­sent a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity for these ten men. Hav­ing the chance to win a ma­jor am­a­teur cham­pi­onship in your own back yard, that comes with the chance to play at Au­gusta Na­tional as well as in an Open Cham­pi­onship, that is about as ex­cit­ing as it gets!”.

“This group have been work­ing hard in an­tic­i­pa­tion of re­ceiv­ing this in­vite. We were for­tu­nate to have Greg Turner work with the play­ers prior to last year's New Zealand Am­a­teur at Royal Welling­ton and we have fur­ther prepa­ra­tion planned lead­ing up to the event.”

“The New Zealand Am­a­teur at Royal Welling­ton was well sup­ported by the Royal Welling­ton mem­bers and Welling­ton golf fans alike, so we hope we get some good lo­cal sup­port this year too. It will be a great event for the pub­lic to come out and watch be­cause you could be see­ing the next Hideki Mat­suyama who has won this event twice.”

Nick Voke has been in fine form this year, re writ­ing the record books at Iowa State Univer­sity in the United States. Among his ac­com­plish­ments are win­ning the Hawk­eye In­vi­ta­tional and the NCAA Austin Re­gional where he helped Iowa State qual­ify for the Na­tional Cham­pi­onships set­ting a new scor­ing record for the Univer­sity along the way.

Join­ing Voke will be a strong con­tin­gent of U.S based ki­wis in­clud­ing Den­zel Ieremia, James Anstiss, Henry Spring and Char­lie Hillier who will all make the trip back to Welling­ton in Oc­to­ber.

Lead­ing the New Zealand based charge will be Ryan Chisnall and Daniel Hillier. Chisnall and Hillier re­cently com­pleted cam­paigns in the U.S, gain­ing valu­able com­pet­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence, pre­par­ing them for the chal­lenges ahead, with both play­ers mak­ing the cut at the pres­ti­gious South­ern Am­a­teur fin­ish­ing T23 and T15 re­spec­tively.

Hillier, who al­ready has an im­pres­sive re­sume in his young ca­reer, will have the ad­van­tage of lo­cal knowl­edge as he is based in Welling­ton and is ex­pect­ing the con­di­tions to be chal­leng­ing.

“It's usu­ally the windi­est time of year for us so it will be in­ter­est­ing to see how that af­fects the course. It's also not that warm so the ball won't be trav­el­ling that far and it can be a bit softer so it will play quite long,” Hillier warned.

“The wind swirls around the course so that trips up a few peo­ple. One shot could be straight into it; one shot could be straight down. You just have to make sure you know where the wind's com­ing from when you hit your shot.”

Round­ing out the group, that is se­lected from the World Am­a­teur Golf Rank­ings, are New Zealand Stroke Play Cham­pion Mark Hutson, North­land's Luke Brown and Welling­ton's Kerry Mountcastle.

If a kiwi was to win in 2017 it would be the for the first time with the best per­for­mances in the past be­ing Peter Spear­man Burn and Ben Camp­bell each fin­ish­ing 3rd in 2009 and 2011 re­spec­tively and Luke Toomey com­ing close last year, but also even­tu­ally end­ing in third place. Never be­fore has the chance to play Au­gusta Na­tional and at an Open Cham­pi­onship been so close for so many of New Zealand's best young am­a­teurs.

The in­vited New Zealan­ders to play for this year's Asia-Pa­cific Am­a­teur Cham­pi­onship, to be played at Royal Welling­ton Golf Club, Welling­ton. 26-29 Oc­to­ber are (WAGR at time of se­lec­tion); Nick Voke (61), Ryan Chisnall (75) Daniel Hillier (93), Luke Brown (221) Den­zel Ieremia (315), Mark Hutson (390), James Anstiss (405) Kerry Mountcastle(418), Henry Spring (520), Char­lie Hillier (536)

Royal Welling­ton Golf Club.

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