Tataurangi set to return from injury at NZ PGA
BY Bruce Young | Web.com Tour | 2006 NZ PGA Championship | General | 14 Jan 2006
New Zealander Phil Tataurangi, who has been sidelined with ongoing injury issues for fourteen months, appears set to return to tournament golf with an appearance at the ING New Zealand PGA Championship in Christchurch in late February.
Indications are that Tataurangi will play the Nationwide Tour event as a lead in to his return to the PGA Tour where he has a medical exemption extending from 2004. That exemption will allow Tataurangi to play 21 events on the USPGA Tour in 2006 in an endeavour to match the $616,722 earnings of the number 125 player in 2004, Tag Ridings.
Tataurangi’s last tournament appearance was at the 2004 Australian PGA Championship where he missed the cut before withdrawing for the MasterCard Masters.
Tataurangi’s injury was the result of a herniated disc at the base of his spine although he has been plagued in earlier seasons with a neck injury and heart problems
The 34-year-old Tataurangi first joined the PGA Tour in 1994, just eighteen months after playing a key role in New Zealand’s historic victory at the 1992 Eisenhower Trophy in Canada, where he was also the Individual winner. He had his best season in 2002 when he made 19 of 25 cuts and won the Invensys Las Vegas Classic. Tataurangi has also won on the Nike Tour and the Australasian Tour. His Australasian Tour victory came at the 1996 Australian PGA Championship at the New South Wales Golf Club.
Tataurangi has occupied his time with work for the PGA Tour’s radio service and his role as ambassador for the highly touted Cape Kidnappers course on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island.