Amateurs Come Off The Bench To Represent New Zealand

Jimmy Zheng
Jimmy Zheng

Due to the dysfunctional New Zealand MIQ system lottery, amateur Kiwi golfers that live outside of the country are being asked to compete at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (AAC) and the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship (WAAP) in November.

Many local golfers, who have earned the right through their World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) are unable to attend allowing six New Zealand golfers that attend college in the US to be given the opportunity.

Jimmy Zheng (Duke University) will play in his first AAC at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from November 3rd – 6th, 2021, and will be the lone Kiwi in the field.

Five women have also been selected to compete in the WAAP, held at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club in the UAE capital. Caitlin Maurice (Sacramento State), Caitlin Cotterill (Furman University), Belinda May (University of South Alabama), Shani White (University of Louisiana-Monroe), and Bridget Connelly (Morehead State) will all get the opportunity to test their skills against the best in the Asia-Pacific region from November 10th – 13th.

The AAC was created in 2009 by the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC), the Masters Tournament, and The R&A to further develop amateur golf in the region. The champion receives an invitation to compete in the Masters Tournament and The Open, while the runner(s)-up gain a place in Final Qualifying for The Open.

This year, world number one amateur Keita Nakajima will be in attendance as well as two-time champion Yuxin Lin, who won one of his titles at Royal Wellington when the event was staged in New Zealand.

The WAAP was first played in 2018 and was also developed by the APGC and The R&A to nurture talent and provide a pathway for the region’s elite women amateurs to the international stage and the opportunity to play in two major golf championships.

The 2021 champion will earn starts in the AIG Women’s Open and The Amundi Evian Championship and an invitation to play in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur (ANWA).

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