26 February 2019
Jazz Aims To Reach New Heights At The New Zealand Open
Queenstown, New Zealand, February 26: Merit leader Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand hopes to make his maiden trip to New Zealand a memorable one when he tees up for the centennial New Zealand Open which starts on Thursday.
The 23-year-old Thai will spearhead a strong Asian Tour challenge which features compatriots Panuphol Pittayarat and Poom Saksansin, as well as India’s Shiv Kapur, Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines and Nicholas Fung of Malaysia, all winners on the region’s premier Tour.
Founded in 1907, the tournament is one of New Zealand’s leading sporting events with a long and prestigious history. It will be played for the 100th time in 2019 at The Hills and Millbrook Resort in Queenstown and offers a prize purse of NZ$1,250,000 (approx. US$850,000).
Defending champion Daniel Nisbet of Australia, Korea’s K.J. Choi and Y.E. Yang, the first Asian to win a Major championship, are also set to headline the long-running event that is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia.
Like Jazz, Tabuena and Fung are also making their debut appearances at the New Zealand Open this week. The pair, who share the same room this week, are relishing their first trips to Queenstown.
Apart from taking in the scenic views that Queenstown has to offer, Tabuena and Fung are also planning to include jet rides and bungee jumps in their itineraries this week.
A total of 152 professionals from 17 countries will play the first two rounds alternately at Millbrook Resort and The Hills before the second round cut of top 60 and ties.
The final two rounds will be played at The Hills and the New Zealand Open Champion will be the leading player after 72 holes of stroke play.
The tournament also hosts 152 amateur players, each partnering with a Professional in a two-man best-ball event, competing for the NZ Pro-Am Championship.
Some of the Pro-Am celebrities to look out for include Black Caps legend Stephen Fleming, former Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting, Tom Walsh, the world indoor and outdoor champion shot putter and newly-crowned New Zealand Sportsman of The Year, as well as Hayden Paddon, a former World Rally Championship driver.