10 Mar 2009

4 more locals qualify for New Zealand Open

6:36 am on 10 March 2009

Local numbers in the New Zealand Golf Open at the Hills course near Queenstown this week have increased by four with a Kiwi quartet making the 156-strong field after the final pre-qualifying round at the Christchurch Golf Club.

Canterbury's top amateur, Sam Ma, and professionals Brenden Stuart, Jared Pender and Mike Hendry will tee off on Thursday in the opening round of the 1.2 million dollar co-sanctioned Nationwide Tour and Australasian Tour event.

The 10 invites into the field include Sunday's New Zealand PGA championship winner, Steve Alker, along with fellow Kiwi professionals, Mark Purser, Brad Iles, Grant Moorhead, Troy Ropiha, and the legendary lefthander, Sir Bob Charles.

Also on the invite list are Irish professional Keith Nolan and three foremost New Zealand amateurs headed by the sensational Danny Lee, winner of the recent professional Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth. New Zealand match-play champion, Thomas Spearman-Burn, from Wellington, and Auckland number 1 Ryan Fox, have also received sponsor's invites.