After a two year absence, Auckland is once again hosting a high quality men’s professional golf tournament with the announcement of the 2018 New Zealand Masters to be held at Wainui Golf Club from January 11-14. Befitting the theme of many other ‘Masters’ tournaments around the world (including the most famous edition), the winner will receive a jacket – in this case a black one.
The New Zealand Masters will be the first event of the season on the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia and provides an excellent opportunity for professionals to kick start their year on one of New Zealand’s most testing layouts.
Following in the footsteps of New Zealand’s premiere event – the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open – the New Zealand Masters will see amateurs joining the pros, albeit under a new, slightly different and exciting format.
Fifty amateurs will join the remaining 50 professionals after the traditional second round cut. The pros will continue to compete for the New Zealand Masters title, as well as engage in a separate team competition with their amateur partner. This will provide a unique opportunity for amateurs to compete alongside professionals as well as see the culmination of a significant tournament right from inside the ropes.
Simon Butterly, general Manager of tournaments for the PGA of Australia, which oversees the PGA Tour of Australasia, believes the tournament will be well supported by the tour professionals.
“The ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia is very pleased to see the addition of another tournament in New Zealand on the 2018 schedule,” Butterly said. “The New Zealand Masters has found an excellent home at Wainui Golf Club and I am sure it will be well supported by our players. I encourage all golf fans in Auckland and New Zealand to not just come and watch the New Zealand Masters but get involved and play alongside one of our Professionals.”
With talent such as Ryan Fox and Michael Hendry expressing serious interest in the tournament, those lucky to enough to secure a spot in the field could be playing alongside world class, proven performers. Both Fox and Hendry are currently ranked within the top-140 players in the world and have both competed in Major championships during their 2017 campaigns.
The tournament is the brainchild of two diehard golf fans and well-known Auckland businessmen, Gerard Peterson and Rod Duke. Longtime supporters of many New Zealand golf professionals, they saw an opening for this type of tournament in Auckland.
“We were keen to showcase what a phenomenal course Wainui is and at the same time get an Australasian professional men’s golf tournament back into Auckland,” Duke said. “It is important for the growth of the game that our professionals have the chance to compete in as many big tournaments right here at home – we are excited to see if a Kiwi can take home the jacket in the first year.”
Located on the North Shore and a 25-minute drive from the Auckland CBD, Wainui has been open just longer than 12 months, but already has gained a reputation as a championship course with world class facilities. General manager Terry Yacyshen cannot wait for the professionals and amateur playing partners to see the fantastic and challenging layout at Wainui.
“The course is now fully bedded down and will be in absolute pristine condition come January. It is going to be a stern test of golf from our back tees which I know the pros are going to enjoy,” Yacyshen said. “We are equally excited about growing the game in our region and honoured to be associated with the PGA and working closely with Gerard, Rod and a team of volunteers to showcase the pride of Wainui.”
The tournament will tee off the 2018 PGA Tour of Australasia season and will carry a $A100,000 prize purse as well as Official World Golf Ranking points and the black jacket.