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.

New Zealand Golf Magazine - - CONTENTS -

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.

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