The 2018 NZPWG Women's Pro-Am in Memory of Anita Boon gets underway tomorrow at Remuera Golf Club just outside Auckland, with 29 professionals from New Zealand, Australia, Scotland and the USA competing over 36-holes for a share of the NZ$40,000 prizemoney on offer.
The Pro-am will be co-sanctioned for the sixth consecutive year by New Zealand Professional Women Golfers (NZPWG) and Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG) Tour and will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year.
The highest-ranked player in the field this week is local favourite Liv Cheng who has returned home to NZ after spending the past seven months in the USA competing on the Symetra Tour. Cheng has admitted that 2018 has been somewhat of a struggle for after a fantastic 2017 season, however the 25-year-old has shown some signs in recent weeks that her form is turning around and will start as a hot favourite to take the title this weekend.
Fellow Kiwi Cathryn Bristow will be returning to competitive play this week after spending the last seven months on the sideline recovering from a serious shoulder injury. Bristow, who has competed the past five seasons on the Ladies European Tour will no doubt be a contender if she is fully fit, as will Aussie Breanna Gill who is also returning from a serious elbow injury after a fantastic finish to her 2017/18 ALPG season.
World Long Drive Champion Phillis Meti also returns home to compete this week, as does renowned trick shot artist Tania Tare. Both women are also extremely talented players in their own right, and while it will be a different scenario for them both this week teeing up in a professional event with a scorecard in hand they will no doubt attract some extra attention to the event.
Former Ladies European Tour player Bree Arthur is also making a comeback to the professional scene this week after taking a break from touring, the Queenslander was once ranked in the top 200 players in the world on the Rolex Women’s World Rankings and certainly has the class to contend if her game is sharp enough.
Another former Ladies European Tour player, Vicky Uwland, showed some solid form on the ALPG Tour in 2017/18. Uwland was a classy player in her prime and was a member of Australia’s winning World Cup team alongside Katherine Kirk (nee Hull) and Lindsey Wright in 2002. If the Victorian can find her “A Game” she is another who could find her name on the scoreboard this weekend.
Former champions Karen Pearce (2013) and Katelyn Must (2012) also return to enjoy the 10th Anniversary celebrations, along with promising Kiwi rookie Chantelle Cassidy.
Other players to watch this weekend are Australian youngsters Sheridan Gorton and Montana Strauss, who will be competing in just her second tournament as a professional.
The NZPWG Pro-Am will once again support Look Good Feel Better the charity set up to help women through cancer treatment. The event also fundraises for the KFC Golf Scholarship which helps support NZ professional women golfers to take their careers to the next level.
ALPG Tour CEO Karen Lunn paid tribute to the Pro-ams loyal supporters,
“Thanks to the ongoing support of our fantastic sponsors KFC New Zealand and Coca-Cola, the NZPWG Pro-Am event is able to raise valuable funds for charity and support New Zealand's future golfing stars.
“Anita Boon was a wonderful person who touched many hearts; I am sure she would be delighted this event has stood the test of time which is a testament to the hard work the NZPWG have put in to ensure its future.”
“We are in for a fascinating two days here at Remuera Golf Club, there a number of different storylines which could play out. We have a great mix of rookies and more experienced players competing, I am also really looking forward to watching the exhibition which Phillis (Meti) and Tania (Tare) will be putting on”
The event is a shotgun start format starting at 12:30 pm both days, entry is free for spectators.
Keep an eye out for more news and stories on our website - alpg.com.au and follow our social media pages Facebook (ALPG Official), Twitter (@ALPGTour) and Instagram (alpgtour)