2017 NZPGA Championship to take place
at the Manawatu Golf Club
The Manawatu Golf Club will host the 2017LawnMaster Horizon Golf
NZPGA Championship, to be played from March
2nd – 5that its Hokowhitu course in Palmerston
North.  The tournament will be a PGA Tour
of Australasia event and will again carry prize money of $125,000, consistent
with the 2015 and 2016 NZPGA Championship events staged at Auckland’s Remuera
Golf Club.
“The PGA Championship
has historically been played at some of our best regional courses and the move
to Palmerston North for 2017 confirms a desire to again make the PGA
Championship tournament an opportunity to bring top level golf to regional New
Zealand, while also heightening the awareness of the great recreational golf
opportunities in our regions, for New Zealanders and visitors alike.“ said PGA
General Manager Dominic Sainsbury at the tournament’s launch function in
Palmerston North today, “ It is also fitting that the 2017 tournament  will be held at the country’s oldest golf
course, which has previously been the venue for five New Zealand Opens and four
PGA Championships. “
Manawatu Golf Club General Manager Michael Williams endorsed
these comments.  “We are delighted to be
able to host this prestigious event again after a gap of nearly 60 years, and
to build on the excellent platform we have built up through the LawnMaster
Classic since it became part of the Jennian Homes Charles Tour three years
ago.  We are very grateful for
Lawnmaster’s ongoing support, together with that of the Horizon Golf Trust and
other local sponsors, and we look forward to welcoming a top class field to
Hokowhitu next March.”
Mr Sainsbury pointed out that the PGA Championship would
again take place the week before the ISPS Handa NZ Open in Queenstown and would
consequently attract a strong field of professional golfers from Australia, New
Zealand and likely Asia.
“The Remuera Golf
Club and the Auckland golf community provided great support for the tournament
in 2015 and 2016, for which we thank them sincerely, and we are confident that
the PGA Championship will continue along that path next year, working with the
community of Palmerston North and the broader Manawatu region.  It is particularly appropriate that New
Zealand players will again be competing for the Sir Bob Charles Trophy, as Sir
Bob was the winner of the last NZ Open to be played here in 1973.”
The Manawatu Golf Club was founded in 1895 at Hokowhitu,
which continues to be its current location.
Previous PGA winners on the course have been Arthur Ham (1922), Fred
Rutter (1930), Andy Shaw (1946) and Kel Nagle (1957).
The 2017 LawnMaster Horizon Golf NZPGA Championship winner
will join a long list of famous names on the McDougall Cup, first played for in
1920 when it was won by Joe Kirkwood.
The current holder is Brad Kennedy of Australia.  The leading New Zealand player will receive
the Sir Bob Charles Trophy, which was initiated in 2015 and won by Josh
Geary.  Geary won this again in 2016.

“The Remuera Golf Club and the Auckland golf community provided great support for the tournament in 2015 and 2016, for which we thank them sincerely, and we are confident that the PGA Championship will continue along that path next year, working with the community of Palmerston North and the broader Manawatu region. It is particularly appropriate that New Zealand players will again be competing for the Sir Bob Charles Trophy, as Sir Bob was the winner of the last NZ Open to be played here in 1973.”

The Manawatu Golf Club was founded in 1895 at Hokowhitu, which continues to be its current location. Previous PGA winners on the course have been Arthur Ham (1922), Fred Rutter (1930), Andy Shaw (1946) and Kel Nagle (1957).

The 2017 Lawnmaster Horizon Golf NZ PGA Championship winner will join a long list of famous names on the McDougall Cup, first played for in 1920 when it was won by Joe Kirkwood. The current holder is Brad Kennedy of Australia. The leading New Zealand player will receive the Sir Bob Charles Trophy, which was initiated in 2015 and won by Josh Geary. Geary won this again in 2016.

Australian PGA Championship

Ryan Fox will be disappointed with his weekend play at Royal Pines, but still managed another Top 10 finish and a cheque of $A 35,625 to round off a great three campaign in Australia.
Harold Varner III became the first non-Australian to win the title since Greg Turner in 1999, storming home with a last round of 65 to finish on -19, ahead of Andrew Dodt and Adam Scott.
The only other New Zealand players to make the cut were Danny Lee (T25 on -3), and David Klein (T76 on +6).
Michael Hendry missed the cut by an agonising single shot, but still managed to hold on to his 2nd placing on the OOM, which gets him entry to two WGC events next year, plus the Open Championship. Matthew Griffin was the overall winner, largely thanks to his victory in this year’s NZ Open.

Japan Q-School: Final Stage

Brad Shilton, Gareth Paddison and Daniel Pearce were among the 193 players who were competing for 35 Japan Tour cards in 2017, at Final Qualifying last week. After a mammoth six rounds of golf, you needed to be on -12 or better (the winner was at -31) to get a card. David Bransdon of Australia was the only player outside japan or Korea to achieve this.
All three New Zealanders missed the four round cut of -5, with Paddison being the closest at -2.

Weekend Viewing

We’re definitely at the silly end of the season, as evidenced by the Franklin Templeton shootout event in the USA (today an Ambrose, tomorrow Canadian foursomes etc).
But there’s still the concluding event on the European Senior Tour, with a 48 player field competing for € 450,000. Peter Fowler will be competing in Mauritius against the likes of Colin Montgomerie, and a number of other high ranking players.
And if like me, you’re already tired of cricket, you can catch the $US 2.0 million UBS Hong Kong Open on Channel 55, being staged on a composite course at the famous Hong Kong Golf Club at Fanling. Name players include Ian Poulter, Danny Willett, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Justin Rose, but leading them all after a first round of 64 is European Ryder Cup player Rafa Cabrera Bello.
The course has been described as the “longest 6,000 metre golf course in the world”, and always provides fascinating viewing.