Three time US Open winner and World Golf Hall of Fame member Hale Irwin has been confirmed to play in next year's NZ PGA Championship at The Hills.
With a career that has spanned more than four decades and includes wins in three majors, 20 PGA Tour and 45 Champions Tour events, Irwin will undoubtedly be a major draw card for golfing fans at the Arrowtown tournament on February 28.
Irwin continues to be highly competitive and is the most successful player in Champions Tour history where he has amassed 208 top 10 finishes - including 45 wins, 43 second place, and 23 third place finishes. Since turning 65 in 2010, Irwin has shot his age or better on seven occasions in Champions Tour events.
Irwin will be joined at the Hills in the NZ PGA Championship field by his son Steve, who qualified for the 2011 US Open at the Congressional County Club in Bethesda, Maryland.
"I cherish the opportunity to come to New Zealand to play in the NZ PGA Championship. To travel with my son Steve, play golf in Queenstown and then sample some of your renowned fishing and hospitality is too good to miss. I am really looking forward to it", Irwin said.
Event director Michael Glading said Hale was a legend of the game and believed he would be a major drawcard for the NZ PGA Championship.
''To have a high profile player of Hale's calibre confirmed in the tournament is fantastic. It speaks volumes for the reputation that this unique tournament and our stunning venue is building in the golfing world."
Other high profile golfers and sporting celebrities confirmed in the tournament include cricketer Sir Ian Botham, World Amateur Number One Lydia Ko, Australian professional Brendan Jones, and defending champion Michael Hendry.