New Zealand Open to co-sanction with European Tour
BY iseekgolf.com | Australasian PGA Tour | 2005 New Zealand Open | General | 23 Sep 2004
New Zealand’s premier golf tournament was given a significant boost with the announcement that the Holden New Zealand Open will become a co-sanctioned event with the European Tour.
The 2005 Holden New Zealand Open will be staged at Gulf Harbour Country Club on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula in Auckland at a new date of 10-13 February, it was announced by New Zealand Golf Chief Executive Larry Graham today.
It will form part of three events on the PGA Tour of Australasia that are co-sanctioned with the European Tour, alongside the Johnnie Walker Classic and Heineken Open in Melbourne.
The 88th Holden New Zealand Open will boast an increase in prizemoney with a purse of $NZ 1.5 million for the 2005 event, more than double the NZ$700,000 offered this year.
“This is a wonderful boost for golf in this country, and will ensure our sport, our players and our country has a considerably enhanced profile through the massive television audience that goes with a co-sanctioned European event,” Mr Graham said.
“We are absolutely delighted with this result, not only for our game and the Tour but for the New Zealand public. We are thrilled that the Australasian PGA Tour and European Tour had the faith in us,” Graham said. “The European Tour is the second largest tour in the world and to have the prestige lent to our event by their support ensures global recognition and really puts New Zealand on the map.”
Television coverage of the 2005 Holden New Zealand Open will be broadcast in 30 countries with a potential audience of more than 200 million homes. The PGA Tour of Australasia is excited by the new development for the Holden New Zealand Open.
“The co-sanctioned status of the event will provide significant incentive for players to take part, said PGA Tour of Australasia Chief Executive Andrew Georgiou. “We are always looking at ways to provide more for our members and the New Zealand Open not only offers a significant money reward, but also the opportunity to launch a career on the European Tour.”
With significant numbers of leading New Zealand and Australian players currently competing on the European Tour, the co-sanctioning of the Holden New Zealand Open has the potential to attract top European players including the likes of Thomas Levet, Paul Casey, Ian Poulter and Miguel Angel Jimenez, as well as leading Australian players including Adam Scott, Nick O’Hern, Peter Lonard and Peter O’Malley.
New Zealand’s top ranked world player Michael Campbell has already confirmed his intention to compete in the 88 th Holden New Zealand Open, and this coupled with the rising stars on the Australasian Tour would provide an exciting pool of talent for the event.
The enhanced interest in the Holden New Zealand Open will provide an excellent lead-in to the NZ PGA Championship, which will be played two weeks later in Christchurch.
“February in New Zealand will now be seen as the pinnacle month for golf on the New Zealand sporting calendar.”
Source – NZGA