New Zealand Open Regional Qualifying Series Revamped.

The road to the New Zealand Open will look slightly different for the 102nd edition next year as district amateur stroke play events will host the first stage of qualifying.

Previously, Golf New Zealand, alongside Titirangi, Paraparaumu Beach, Christchurch, and Otago Golf Club’s hosted the first stages of regional qualifying for the New Zealand Open. This year, Hastings, Taranaki, Canterbury, and Otago Stroke Play tournaments will host the first stages, with the final stage remaining at Cromwell Golf Club on Monday, 27 February 2023.

The leading six amateur golfers and ties will earn their places in the final stage from each event, while all PGA of New Zealand members and the top ten amateur golfers on the Golf New Zealand Order of Merit remain fully exempt into final qualifying.

The regional qualifying series mirrors The Open Championship’s Open Qualifying Series by using pre-existing golf tournaments as a qualifying vehicle, adding more prestige to each event.

Golf New Zealand General Manager for Championships and Golf Operations Dave Mangan says it’s exciting for each of these events to have an extra carrot on the line.

“Golf New Zealand is excited to look at a new way for amateur players to qualify for the New Zealand Open while providing extra incentives for our top amateurs to support our district stroke play events. Over the past few years, we have seen The R&A use existing tournaments as a qualifying vehicle, and we believe that this will see the best players come to the fore over several rounds of golf rather than just one.”

The first chance for amateur golfers to earn their places in final stage at Cromwell Golf Club comes on January 20 – 22 at the Taranaki Stroke Play. The Hastings Stroke Play will follow from January 26 – 29, and is being run alongside the Wallace Development Hastings Open, the newest Jennian Homes Charles Tour event.

The Otago Stroke Play follows on January 28 and 29, with the final regional qualifying event taking place at the Canterbury Stroke Play on February 4 & 5.

The New Zealand Open is played from March 2, 2023, at Millbrook Resort on both the Remarkables and Coronet Courses.

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