NZPGA announces date for 2013

Australasian PGA Tour | 2012 New Zealand PGA Pro-Am Championship | General | 02 Apr 2012

Arrowtown, April 1 – The dust has not yet settled on the inaugural NZ PGA Pro-Am Championship and already plans are well advanced for 2013.

With the date already set an expanded tournament is on the cards after a highly successful inaugural event. Organising Committee Chairman John Hart says it’s a case of striking while the iron is hot.

“We’re absolutely thrilled with the way the tournament has gone. I guess the key thing is the feedback we’ve had from sponsors and the amateurs that have paid to play has been so positive.

“So it’s given us the confidence to know that we have a format that is going to work and already we are making plans for next year.”

Forming part of the PGA Tour of Australasia the tournament has been a highlight in the early stages of the 2012 season.

“The NZ PGA Pro-Am Championship has been a standout event, the format is unique to the Tour and we have seen the players embrace and relish the opportunity to compete in a different style of event,” said Brian Thorburn, CEO of the PGA of Australia, which encompasses the PGA Tour of Australasia.

Looking forward to building on the success of the inaugural event the 2013 tournament will be given a key date; a month earlier from February 28th to March 3rd.

“We want to see the tournament build on the success of the inaugural event and I believe that positioning the tournament earlier will provide the launch pad to achieve all the expansion plans that John Hart and his team have developed.”

“I know that I speak for all involved with the PGA Tour of Australasia that the hard work by John and his team has made this a fantastic tournament and we look forward to working with them again and returning to Queenstown in 2013,” added Thorburn.

Hart says the 2013 event being a month earlier, will work well for both Queenstown and sports fans in general.

“Through our discussions with the PGA Tour of Australasia in the last 48 hours we have agreed a date for next year which will be February 28 to March 3. It gives us a great lead in time now to make this tournament something very, very special.”

That could include an expanded field in 2013. Hart says such has been the success of the inaugural event, expansion plans have been brought forward a couple of years.

“We’ve always had a vision to take this tournament to three courses and therefore absolutely mirror the Dunhill tournament. Our initial vision was to look at that in three or four years, but we’re so excited by the support we’ve had and our potential to raise additional funding that we will now look to increase this tournament in size in 2013.

“It will be subject to what we can do with funding but our aim is to have at least two courses involved if not three which gives us the ability to widen the professional field and bring in probably twice the number of amateurs that we’ve had this year”.

Simon Perry, pro-am participant and friend of the tournament, is already planning his campaign for the 2013 event and is looking forward to the event being expanded so more players and golf fans can get involved.

“I think it will go tremendously well. The format is great, obviously you can’t get a better location than Queenstown, playing in that seeding tournament is a lot of fun, and then they shower you with hospitality – you just can’t say no.”

Not only will I be back I’ll be asking for another team to go in, I’ve got friends and colleagues lining up to play and we’ll be there with bells on.”

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