Golf: Asian Tour to co-sanction New Zealand Open from 2018-19

Josh Burack teeing off before the Panasonic Open India in New Delhi in December 2016. The thrilled Asian Tour CEO says 30 members will get to compete in the New Zealand tournament with the expanded tie-up.
Josh Burack teeing off before the Panasonic Open India in New Delhi in December 2016. The thrilled Asian Tour CEO says 30 members will get to compete in the New Zealand tournament with the expanded tie-up.PHOTO: ASIAN TOUR
The Millbrook Resort in Queenstown, which together with The Hills, hosts the New Zealand Open golf tournament.
The Millbrook Resort in Queenstown, which together with The Hills, hosts the New Zealand Open golf tournament.PHOTO: NZ TOURISM BOARD

NEW ZEALAND (REUTERS) - The Asian Tour and PGA Tour of Australasia have agreed to co-sanction the New Zealand Open in 2018 and 2019, officials said on Tuesday.

Prize money will count towards the Asian Tour's Order of Merit and 30 Tour members will be included at the event, which will be played from March 1-4 next year at The Hills and the Millbrook Resort in Queenstown, New Zealand.

The tournament, which is in the pro-am format, had been co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the US PGA Tour's secondary Nationwide Tour in the past, but has been solely sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia since 2011.

A smaller scale collaboration this year saw 10 Asian Tour members feature in the tournament.

"Following a landmark tri-partite agreement, the Asian Tour will now become a full co-sanctioning partner of the New Zealand Open...," officials said in a statement.

"We are thrilled to become an official co-sanctioning partner of the New Zealand Open which will provide a wonderful opportunity for 30 Asian Tour members per year to compete in this outstanding tournament in 2018 and 2019," Asian Tour chief executive officer Josh Burack said.

The tournament will offer a minimum prize fund of NZ$1.1 million (S$1.1 million), the statement said.