NZPGA CHAM­PI­ONSHIP

The NZPGA Cham­pi­onship has a rich and his­toric back­ground with a long stint in Christchurch where we saw the likes of Bubba Wat­son, Ja­son Dufner and many other in their for­ma­tive years on tour.

New Zealand Golf Magazine - - CONTENTS -

The 2018 cham­pi­onship will again be hosted by Manawatu GC.

Since then fol­low­ing a

short hia­tus with all the earth­quake is­sues in Christchurch it reemerged in Auck­land where it was held at Re­muera Golf Club for two years. The event was held in a time where it faced se­ri­ous al­ter­nate sport event com­pe­ti­tions and whilst the NZPGA was in it­self suc­cess­ful the crowds were not to ATEED and the ma­jor spon­sor lik­ing and they with­drew their spon­sor­ship.

The NZPGA Board then was faced with some in­ter­est­ing de­ci­sions. Putting on a Tier 1 or Tier 2 Golf event is enor­mously ex­pen­sive. They can cost mil­lions and if not care­fully man­aged and prop­erly funded re­sults could be dire for the event own­ers. It is also enor­mously com­pli­cated with many stake­hold­ers both do­mes­ti­cally and in­ter­na­tional.

So, a brave call was made to in­vite strate­gic re­gional clubs the op­por­tu­nity to host the NZPGA Cham­pi­onship and in Fe­bru­ary 2017 Manawatu Golf Club did just that.

They took on the chal­lenge with only a few months to or­gan­ise and host a tier 2 event. The Board of the Day, and the GM at the time Michael Wil­liams, now at Mount Man­ganui Golf Club, did just that.

The re­sult was a fan­tas­tic event. Well at­tended with large lo­cal and visi­tor crowds with qual­ity golf be­ing on show. So, the only real ques­tion. What about 2018?

It is now set into con­crete that the Manawatu Golf Club will host the 2018 Hori­zon Golf NZPGA Cham­pi­onship, and it will be played from 22-25 Fe­bru­ary on its Hokowhitu course in Palmer­ston North. The tour­na­ment will be sanc­tioned by the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Aus­trala­sia and will again carry prize money of NZD$125,000.

“The 2017 Hori­zon Golf NZPGA Cham­pi­onship was an overwhelming suc­cess, the play­ers loved the hos­pi­tal­ity shown by the Palmer­ston North com­mu­nity and the Hokowhitu course was pre­sented in im­mac­u­late con­di­tion,” said PGA of New Zealand Gen­eral Man­ager Do­minic Sains­bury.

“The tour­na­ment ex­ceeded all our ex­pec­ta­tions and we have been do­ing ev­ery­thing we can to get the event back to the re­gion for an­other year.

“With longer lead in time to the 2018 Cham­pi­onship, we are very ex­cited we can make next year's event even big­ger.”

Do­minic Sains­bury high­lights the fact that the 2018 NZPGA Cham­pi­onship would again take place the week be­fore the ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open in Queen­stown which will ben­e­fit the qual­ity of the play­ing field and will

once again pro­vide the op­por­tu­nity to at­tract a strong field of pro­fes­sional golfers from Aus­tralia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe and the USA.

Manawatu Golf Club Gen­eral Man­ager, War­ren Col­lett en­dorsed these com­ments. “We are de­lighted to host this pres­ti­gious event again and build on the suc­cess from 2017.

“This will be a first for me to be in­volved in such a his­tor­i­cal tour­na­ment and be­ing able to stamp my mark on the event.

“The sup­port from the mem­ber­ship in 2017 was huge and the ex­pec­ta­tion is they will all come on board again in the many vol­un­tary roles as­so­ci­ated with run­ning an event like this.

“The club was very grate­ful for the on­go­ing sup­port of the Hori­zon Golf Trust who has in­di­cated they will be on board and they are backed up by the many sup­port­ing lo­cal spon­sors. We look for­ward to wel­com­ing a top class field to Hokowhitu next Fe­bru­ary.”

The Manawatu Golf Club was founded in 1895 at Hokowhitu, which con­tin­ues to be its cur­rent lo­ca­tion. Pre­vi­ous NZPGA win­ners on the course have been Arthur Ham (1922), Fred Rut­ter (1930), Andy Shaw (1946) Kel Na­gle (1957) and Jar­ryd Fel­ton (2017).

The 2018 Hori­zon Golf NZPGA Cham­pi­onship win­ner will join a long list of fa­mous names on the McDougall Cup, first played for in 1920 when it was won by Joe Kirk­wood.

The cur­rent holder is Jar­ryd Fel­ton of Aus­tralia who won in a three man play off over Vic­to­rian Josh Younger and lo­cal Ben Campbell.

The lead­ing New Zealand player in the Cham­pi­onship will re­ceive the Sir Bob Charles Tro­phy, which was ini­ti­ated in 2015 and won by Josh Geary. Geary won it again in 2016 and Ben Campbell won the ti­tle in 2017.

2017 Win­ners Ben Campbell and Jar­ryd Fel­ton →

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