By ROBYN BRISTOW
The Pegasus Golf and Sports Club will host a long-standing premier golf event next month, which has attracted about 130 leading Australasian professional golfers.
The 2019 NZPGA Championship, to be held from March 7 to 10, is a tier-two event on the ISPS PGA Tour of Australasia. It has a prize pool of $125,000.
Players from New Zealand and Australia will be joined by invited China Tour players and a number of players who will look to “pre qualify” at the Rangiora Golf Club on the Monday prior to the event proper, taking the field to around 150.
The NZPGA Championship was hosted by the Manawatu Golf Club in 2017 and 2018.
The move south has been achieved due to the owners of the Pegasus Golf & Sports Club, Sports and Education Corporation Ltd (SEC), underwriting the event.
SEC is a management company that owns various brands in international sports and education sectors.
The company is dedicated to promoting New Zealand’s distinctive sports and international education capabilities to Asia, especially to China, through designing high-quality training courses to attract international students here.
Its objectives from the event are to raise its profile in New Zealand and Asia, especially in China, and profiling the Pegasus Golf & Sports Club.
SEC has an eye on developing educational and golf activity at Pegasus and has a hotel and a golf education facility planned for the town.
The NZPGA Championship was first played in 1920. It has a rich history as a premier golf tournament in New Zealand, with famous names such as Sir Bob Charles, Steve Alker, Frank Nobilo, Greg Turner, Kel Nagle, Peter Thomson, Bob Tuohy and Graham Marsh having won the event.
The event will be held the week after the New Zealand Open in Queenstown, so a quality field is assured.