Tuesday, March 18, 2008

New Zealand launches Sir Bob Charles Tour

New Zealand Golf and the PGA of New Zealand will manage a new series of 72 hole strokeplay tournaments for professionals and elite amateurs.

Sir Bob Charles, who attended the launch in Auckland today, has agreed to lend his name to the series which will be known as the Charles Tour. The Charles Tour will be staged in partnership with the respective host clubs, including three existing independent events – the Carrus Tauranga Open, Youthtown Wairakei Open and Bayleys Taranaki Open.

These will be joined by an additional event, the Shirley Open in Christchurch, which was confirmed today. Two further tournaments will be added next year with Waikato Golf and Titirangi Golf Club indicating that they are keen to come on board.

The Charles Tour will carry an order of merit which will provide important playing opportunities for professionals. The leading amateur from the tour will be granted an exemption to the New Zealand Open, with a number of other exemption opportunities to be provided for professionals and amateurs.

The structure of the tournaments will be similar to that initiated by former professional Greg Turner.

“These have proven excellent for the development of the game – for the country’s best amateurs and budding professionals – male and female,” said NZG chief executive Bill MacGowan and NZPGA CEO Garth Stirrat.

“Greg’s vision is one we share. He saw this as the ideal time to let the tournaments continue without his direct input, and accordingly NZ Golf and the PGA have reached an agreement with the existing three events and a number of new venues.

“Collectively we are able to add some important playing opportunities for both amateurs and professionals.”

The organisation is delighted that Sir Bob has agreed to have his name associated with the tour.

“I’ve been a keen supporter of the development of the game in this country with both New Zealand Golf and the PGA for nearly half a century,” Sir Bob said. “I am impressed with this concept and honoured to have it named after me.”

It was fitting to name the tour after New Zealand’s leading professional Sir Bob Charles, who has given much back to the development of golf in this country.

No comments: