In a first for competitive event golf across the globe since the COVID-19 pandemic, spectators will be allowed on-course to watch this weekend’s return of the Jennian Homes Charles Tour at Muriwai Golf Club in Auckland’s west.
Although tournaments have been held already in many countries, due to the pandemic restrictions crowds have not been allowed, or have been reduced back to very a very few.
New Zealand is lucky to have had no local restrictions in place for almost eight weeks now and this allows crowds to attend the Autex Muriwai Open.
This will be the first tournament on the local tour since the Brian Green Property Group NZ Super 6’s back in March and for two-time Charles Tour winner Luke Toomey, teeing off tomorrow morning after a 172-day break has got the competitive juices flowing.
“It’s awesome to be back,” Toomey said.
“Any opportunity we can get to play competitive golf is a bonus at the moment.
“International tours and borders are still a big question mark so it’s nice to have something to come back to and refine those competitive skills.
The 27-year-old is thankful he and his fellow professional golfers still have somewhere to play alongside a group of local amateurs is this unique tour where both men and women play for the same prize purse, under the same conditions, and in the same field.
“All the players seem to be really pumped to get underway,” he said.
“It’s really nice to see some familiar faces again outside of my Tauranga bubble.
“Everyone looks keen to go and it’s refreshing to see friends and tour professionals that I haven’t seen for so long. We can’t wait for tomorrow.”
The event is usually played in May, and the winter July conditions are likely to throw up a few different challenges for players in their competitive return to golf.
Play gets underway from 7.45 on Thursday morning.