J-Lo's ex finding fun on the fairway

GRANT BRYANT IN QUEENSTOWN
Last updated 05:00 01/03/2014

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The New Zealand Open's got talent to burn, said New Zealand's Got Talent judge Cris Judd after playing in the Pro-Am section of the golf tournament.

Judd, a choreographer, former backup dancer to Michael Jackson and ex-husband of singer and actress Jennifer "J-Lo" Lopez, became a well-known face to television watchers after a stint as a judge on the primetime televised talent quest last year.

Judd has played in junior golf tournaments since the age of 8 and considered turning pro before blazing a stellar career path as a dancer and choreographer in the pop music world.

His appearance in the tournament happened after he played a round of golf in Titirangi with NZ Open tournament chairman and former All Black coach John Hart while judging NZ's Got Talent.

Acclaimed Hollywood actor Don Cheadle appeared as an amateur player in the 2012 New Zealand PGA Pro-Am Championship.

Yesterday, Judd said the key to attracting more celebrity players was a simple matter of tournament profile, and word of mouth among the Hollywood set.

"I think its about exposure to get people out here," he said.

"We play a bunch of tournaments in the states like this, and for me to go back and say ‘hey man this is a really great tournament and you guys should be a part of it' could bring some bigger names. It's been a great tournament so far. The courses, both of them are unbelievable, and just to be around the professionals is top notch."

Arrowtown Business Association chairman Scott Julian said accommodation providers in the small hamlet-turned tourist magnet and golfing mecca were either full, or very close to it, while the energy created by so much action was contagious.

grant.bryant@stl.co.nz

Full coverage, Page A32

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