Perry and Campbell named to represent NZ

17 Apr 2012

Ben Campbell and Mathew Perry have been named as the two golfers to represent New Zealand at the upcoming Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy in Portugal.

The Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy is a Match Play championship between elite Amateurs from Europe against counterparts from Asia Pacific region and is played over three days.

The Monte Rei Golf and Country Club, which is famed for its Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, the first of its kind in the Algarve, will host the championship from April 25 – 27.

The pair will follow in the footsteps of some elite New Zealand amateurs, the likes of Tim Wilkinson, Eddie Lee, Mathew Holten, Brad Iles, Josh Geary and Mark Purser who have represented New Zealand in the Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy.

“It means a great deal to me, to be selected in such a unique tournament is an honour, and had been a goal of mine coming into 2012,” said the 24-year-old Perry from the Hamilton Golf Club.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for exposure in that part of the world as I know the Europeans hold this tournament in a high regard too.”

Campbell added: “It’s a great honour to be selected for such a great event. I can’t wait for the experience and look forward to competing.

“It’s always great to play against the best players in the world so will be a great experience to play match play against them.”

“My form has been a bit up and down. I have been making some technical changes with the swing and it is starting to feel a lot better.”

The first two days of the tournament comprise of five foursomes and five four-ball matches, with all 12 players from each team then competing in singles Match Play on the final day.

A bi-annual competition, 2010’s Event due to be staged in India was cancelled as a result of the Icelandic ash cloud which disrupted air traffic worldwide.

This is the first time that the tournament has taken place since 2008, and with the European team trailing in the list of all-time wins with only two victories to the Asia Pacific teams’ four.

The Kiwi lads are keen to be part of another winning Asia Pacific team.

“I think history shows this is always a close event,” said Perry.

“Looking at the team on paper there’s some pretty formidable names on our side so I think we should have all confidence that we can come away with a win for the Asia Pacific region.”

“Everyone who has been selected for a reason and is a great player, we have a great chance of winning,” added Campbell.

Gregg Thorpe, the Talent and Coach Development Manager at New Zealand Golf, believed the tournament would be another good yardstick for the experienced amateurs.

“It’s another chance for our amateurs to measure themselves against the best players in Europe,” said Thorpe.

“Both Mat and Ben have had a lot of international experience as amateurs and this competition will be invaluable as they eye turning professional at the end of 2012.

“At the same time they have the chance to continue New Zealand’s proud legacy of playing well in this event.”

Perry expects the conditions to be similar to the courses in Queensland with hot days and a lot of grain on the greens.

“This will be my first time to Portugal so I’m really looking forward to the trip and experiencing another culture first hand.

“Any opportunity to play overseas and represent New Zealand is a great experience and loads of fun. Ben and I have travelled a lot together over
the last few years which has been fantastic, so another opportunity to do this as our amateur careers draw to an end will be good fun.

“I can’t wait to get into that team environment and test myself against the best that Europe has to offer.”

“I don’t know anything about the course,” said Campbell. “I have not been to Portugal before so really looking forward to this event.”

Source: NZ Golf

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