WORLD AMATEUR GOLFERS CHAMPIONSHIP
After a period of terrible weather Auckland turned on a stunning day for Premium Golf’s New Zealand National Championship of the World Amateur Golfers Championship held at Pakuranga Country Club early in June.
Five New Zealand Amateurs will be representing NZ at the WAGC for the first time.
Seventy one people from around the country and ranging in age from 12 to late 60's came together to battle it out for the chance to win in one of five divisions and earn a place on the New Zealand team to play at the final being held in Johor Bahru in October.
This is the first year that Premium Golf NZ has been the official New Zealand partner of the WAGC. Only awarded the event earlier this year they join over 40 other countries with players competing to become World Amateur Golf Champions.
WAGC is the world's largest and most prestigious amateur golf championship. The championship is designed to give amateur golfers the thrill and prestige of representing their country in a global championship against players of similar skill level.
The WAGC was founded in 1995 by Sweden's Sven Tumba, a sporting legend who represented Sweden in ice-hockey, soccer, as well as golf. Sven had a dream to build an amateur golf championship – he recognised that 90% of golfers are amateurs, and wanted to give competitors the chance to represent their country which he saw as the greatest honour in sport.
Tournament Patron Arnold Palmer was a supporter for over a decade, and Annika Sörenstam took over as Hon. Chairman of the Advisory Board after the passing of Seve Ballesteros. The tournament complies with USGA & R&A amateur rules.
For over two decades WAGC has inspired amateur golfers from around the world to take on the challenge of competing and receiving the same status as the professionals and elite do. WAGC gives amateurs the experience the proud feeling of representing their country in a world championship final, individually as well as in a team.
The competition begins as a national championship where winners from five different handicap flights come together to represent their nation as a team, and individually within their flights.
Premium Golf have the New Zealand hosting rights for three more years and they have big ambitions for the future of the tournament in New Zealand. Future events will have a South Island and a North Island pre-qualifier culminating in the final qualifier at a marquee course in Auckland.
Premium Golf are working towards hosting the 2020 World Championship Final in New Zealand and a chance to show the world how good golf is in New Zealand.
“This is the largest Amateur event in the World and I personally think that New Zealand should have been involved in this event a lot sooner, as golf is the No. 1 participation sport in New Zealand. We have the likes of Lydia Ko, Danny Lee and Ryan Fox playing well on the International circuit who all had glowing Amateur careers. We would love one or all of them to get behind the WAGC Event and show the world just how good the Amateur Kiwis are at golf.” Haldane Lee, a Director of Premium Golf, told us.
With Thomas Spearman Burn, a former New Zealand representative and 2009 winner of the Bledisloe Cup for leading amateur at the NZ Open as a member of the NZ team there is just a chance we could do well at this Championship.
Players approach a green during the final.
Thomas Spearman Burn, winner of Division 1
Pakuranga Golf Club.
The youngest in the field, Chloe So has recently turned 12.