Australian professionals cross Tasman for women’s golf pro-am
Several Australian professional golfers are heading across the Tasman for this month’s $35,000 Anita Boon Pro-Am at the North Shore Golf Club.
A limit of 24 professionals will contest the 36-hole event, co-sanctioned for the first time with the Australia Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG) Tour and New Zealand Professional Women Golfers (NZPWG).
The tournament, supported by major sponsors KFC and Coca-Cola, will be held on 31 October and 1 November and offers not only a lucrative $35,000 prize purse but also official ALPG Order of Merit points.
Accordingly it has attracted a number of Australian professionals chasing the money and the points to get starts in the big events this summer.
Leading the way is veteran Karen Pearce, who was a regular on the LPGA, a winner on the ALPG and three times top-10 finisher in the Australian Open.
Tamara Johns and Vicky Thomas have eight wins between them on the ALPG. Johns is a former Australian Amateur representative who led the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open after the first round this year. Thomas, a former State rep in baseball and surf lifesaving, has three wins on the Tour and runner-up in the ACTEWAGL Royal Canberra Ladies Classic in 2012.
Former Australian squad members Katy Jarochowicz and Jody Fleming both have international success with both winning the Texas Women’s Open. Jarochowicz, now based at Kiama Golf Club in New South Wales, had considerable success in New Zealand and was an Australian amateur champion before plying her trade on the Ladies European Tour and the Duramed Futures (now known as the Symetra Tour) in the USA.
The event will be played as an open Pro-Am event over the two days with one female professional with three amateurs. The amateur field is mixed with men and women able to enter for either or both days.
“We are quite happy with the rise in standard of entries,” said NZPWG spokesperson Stephanie Alderlieste.
“The increased prizemoney and status on the ALPG is a definite lure for young professionals on both sides of the Tasman as well as a real chance for young New Zealand players.”
The tournament will again help fund the NZPWG Golf Scholarship, with this year’s recipient Caroline Bon from Northland utilising the grant to assist her in qualifying for the Asian Tour where she is currently plying her trade.
The event was established in 2009 as the first all women’s pro-am in this country in memory of former New Zealand representative Anita Boon who passed away from ovarian cancer. The tournament, promoted by the New Zealand Professional Women’s Golf, includes a range of female professionals and former Tour players, club professionals and teachers as well as amateurs.
The tournament will also raise funds for NZ Gynaecological Cancer Foundation, which was Boon’s chosen charity.
Details: www.n zpwg.com