The leading men’s division golf
tournament of New Zealand is the Michael Hill New
Zealand Open, which is so-named due to reasons of
It has been played since 2007 near
Queenstown at Arrowtown’s The Hills Golf Club., But
in 2008, it was not played due to the change of
schedule of the open to March from its previous
schedule which was in December.
The written history New Zealand golf goes way back
as far as 1871. The very first national competition
was done in 1893 and the founding of the New Zealand
Open was in 1907.
The first New Zealand Open was a 36-hole event which was
done at Napier Golf Club and was won by Arthur Duncan, four
time amateur champion of New Zealand.
In the tournament of 1908, the competition was extended to
holes of 72, and was won by the first noteworthy
professional golfer born in New Zealand, J.A. Clements.
Because of World War I, no Opens were held from 1915-1918.
During the first 20 years, amateurs usually won, but as
professionals started to prevail from circa 1930, so the
Bledisloe Cup was introduced for leading amateurs in 1934.
Again, because of the war, the event was not held from 1940
Bob Charles, in 1954, won as an amateur of 18
years old. He would later become the only New
Zealander to succeed in winning a major tournament
in the twentieth century.
He would become victorious
again in the 1966, the 1971 and the 1973 Opens as a
professional player, and he, along with two
Australian major champions, Kel Nagle and Peter
Thomson, reigned the tournament from the start of
the 1950s to the middle of the 1970s.
Among some of the well known Open winners are the
Americans Corey Pavin (1984 and 1985), and Michael
Campbell (2000). American sensation Tiger Woods
joined the Open in 2002 as a sort of “thank you” to
his caddie from New Zealand, Steve Williams.
Unfortunately, Woods lost.
His joining the Open
sparked a little controversy when the prices of tickets were
increased acutely that year.
The Australasia tournament’s PGA Tour, the New
Zealand Open was approved for the first time in 2005
by the eminently more esteemed European Tour, which
brought about the doubling of the prize amount to
one and a half million New Zealand Dollars.
The events of Australasia’s PGA Tour had been
co-sanctioned by the European Tour before, but all
these tournaments had taken place in Australia,
making this one the tour’s very first one held in
New Zealand. In The event was moved to November of
2006, assuming its spot on the schedule of the
European Tour for the next calendar year.
The event in 2007 was the last to be approved by the
European Tour, and with the tourney being reset to March, no
New Zealand Open was held during the Australasian Tour of
2008. The tournament of 2009 tournament was supported by the
PGA Tour’s official development tour, the Nationwide Tour.