Seven Day Isolation Threatens Viability of New Zealand Open

2020 New Zealand Open Champion Brad Kennedy with golfing legend Sir Bob Charles. Photo Credit: Photosport.nz
2020 New Zealand Open Champion Brad Kennedy with golfing legend Sir Bob Charles. Photo Credit: Photosport.nz

The viability of the 2022 New Zealand Open is under threat due to the need for players to self-isolate for seven days on arrival into the country without access to practice facilities.

The Open’s organising committee met this week following the Government’s updated policy regarding border openings, to discuss what implications these announcements will have on the scheduled 102nd playing of the New Zealand Open at Millbrook Resort between March 31 and April 3, 2022.

Although the organising committee is still fully committed to holding the New Zealand Open in 2022 the impact of the isolation rules is significant. The tournament has been placed on the Government Approved event list which makes it possible for some international players to attend.

Tournament Chairman Mr John Hart said it will be very difficult to convince foreign national professionals to take an extra week out of their playing schedule, particularly at a time when other tournaments around the world are getting back to a more normal situation.

“In all probability, our only option will be to run a tournament that mainly features Kiwi’s, and we are delighted that a number of New Zealand’s leading professionals, including Ryan Fox, Mike Hendry, Josh Geary and others have signalled their support for the event, regardless of format,” said Mr Hart.

“Our process will now be to consult with our tour partners, international players, amateurs, sponsors and other key funding agencies to ascertain what might be possible, and indeed, if we are able to run a financially viable and high-quality event” concluded Mr Hart.

The New Zealand Open is scheduled to be played between March 31 and April 3, 2022, across 36 holes at Millbrook Resort. The tournament will be broadcast by Sky Sport in New Zealand and through various networks internationally, showcasing the best of Queenstown and New Zealand to the world.

A further announcement on the future of the 102nd New Zealand Open and its playing format will be made within the next few weeks.

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