Pro-am qualifier round at revamped Cromwell

CHE BAKER
Last updated 05:00 28/09/2012

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The Cromwell Golf Club is expecting some big hits from top national and international golfers as it hosts the South Island pre-qualifying round of the NZ PGA Pro-Am Championship early next year.

The round will be held on February 25 before the NZ PGA Pro-Am tournament is held at The Hills golf course, near Arrowtown, three days later.

Cromwell Golf Club manager Graham Mercer said the SBS-sponsored tournament would be the first international event at the course since it underwent major redevelopment and an upgrade costing $1 million.

The upgraded course, which was designed by former New Zealand professional golfer Greg Turner, took three years to complete and was officially finished earlier this year.

Hosting an event of such calibre was "recognition for all the hard work put in during the past three years", Mr Mercer said.

It was unknown how many golfers would take part in the event, "we would like think up to 50 professional golfers would take part", Mr Mercer said.

“We're aware that there has been interest from overseas players as the tournament fits in well with the Australian and Japanese professional golf circuits.”

Cromwell Community Board chairman Neil Gillespie said the board donated $700,000 to the upgrade so it would attract international competitions such as the pre-qualifier.

The spinoffs from hosting the event would be a positive for the community, Mr Gillespie said.

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- The Southland Times

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