Field set for NZ PGA Pro-Am Champ

Wednesday, 14 March 2012
Brendan Jones
Brendan Jones

Teeing off at The Hills in Queenstown New Zealand from March 29th – April 1st 2012 the NZ PGA Pro-Am Championship has attracted an impressive field in its inaugural year.

A unique event on the PGA Tour of Australasia, the NZ PGA Pro-Am Championship will see Professionals partner with an amateur over the final two rounds, with many high profile celebrities, including Hollywood actor and producer Don Cheadle, attracted to the tournament by the opportunity to play alongside a top pro.

Headlining the tournament for the Aussies is Brendan Jones. A ten time winner on the Japan Golf Tour, Jones also represented Australia last year in the Omega Mission Hills World Cup where he and partner Richard Green went on to finish in a tie for fourth.

Jones will face tough competition at the NZ PGA Pro-Am Championship with ten time US PGA TOUR winner David Frost from South Africa also in the field.

They will be joined by PGA Tour of Australasia veterans Craig Parry, Peter O’Malley, Peter Fowler, Stephen Leaney and David Smail.

A number of players come into the tournament in good form including New Zealand’s Gareth Paddison, Andrew Tschudin, Scott Arnold and Adam Crawford each having won a PGA Tour of Australasia tournament in the past six months.

An International flavour has also been added to the tournament with Japanese Professional Jay Choi and China’s Zhang Xin Jun confirmed to play.

Jay Choi is the only player on the Japan Golf Tour to have made it from stage one qualifying school to the top 25 on the money list in the same year, while Zhang finished 13th in the HSBC Champions, a World Golf Championship event.

Tournament organisers are thrilled with the quality of the field being one of the strongest for a tournament with comparable prizemoney on the PGA Tour of Australasia in recent years.

“We are looking forward to heading back to The Hills for the New Zealand PGA Pro-Am Championship, the quality of the field is certainly a testament to the hard work being put into the event by the PGA of New Zealand and is a great sign for golf in the region,” said Brian Thorburn CEO of the PGA of Australia which encompasses the Tour.

“In such a spectacular setting top quality golf won’t be the only thing drawing the attention of spectators at the event, I strongly encourage all sporting fans to come out to The Hills and witness what is sure to be memorable golf at a picturesque course.”

PGA of New Zeland CEO Duncan Simpson is particularly delighted to see his organisation associated again with a major regional golf championship after a two year hiatus.

"There's no doubt the innovative format and the venue have given the tournament a new lease of life. The Hills is a course that creates excitement and anticipation for players and spectators alike as soon as you walk in the gate, and the blend of amateurs, professionals and celebrities will make it a unique experience for everyone," he said.

The New Zealand PGA Pro-Am Championship runs from Thursday March 29th to Sunday, April 1st. Tickets are available now from Ticketek.

More celebrities competing in the NZ PGA Pro-Am Championship are expected to be announced next week.