Top NZ pros chasing Brian Perry Classic title
A quality lineup of Kiwi professionals will contest the Brian Perry Classic in Hamilton tomorrow.
Former winners of the pro-am tournament, David Smail and Richard Lee, will be competing in the 18-hole event at St Andrews, while the likes of Mark Brown, Ryan Fox, Michael Hendry and David Klein will be among the favourites to take the title.
Brown and Hendry are the two top-ranked New Zealand professionals, at 219 and 223 respectively in the world standings.
Brown is coming off a second-place finish in the NZ Open earlier this month, while Hendry, who won the NZ PGA title last year, will head off shortly for another year on the Japan Tour.
Fox, who tied for sixth at the NZ Open, is also off to Asia this year, to contest the PGA Tour's China series.
Smail is a veteran of the Japan Tour - this year will be his 17th playing there, and he has captured five titles to go with his two PGA Tour of Australasia victories.
Te Anau's David Klein made a big impact at the NZ Open by carding a five-under 67 in the final round to finish third, pocketing the biggest cheque of his short professional career.
The top-drawer field also includes Josh Carmichael. Doug Holloway, Nick Gillespie, Jared Pender, Grant Moorhead, Marcus Wheelhouse, and the Waikato duo of Mark Purser and Glenn Millin.
Building on the success of previous years, the tournament will again have a significant focus on supporting junior golf. This year's junior lineup will see the father and son combination of David and Charlie Smail featuring.
''The event has always been a legacy to Brian's devotion to sport and to this region, and it now also pays tribute to his commitment to youth,'' said Simon Perry, son of the late Brian Perry and chairman of the Brian Perry Charitable Trust.
The tournament sees each amateur team joined by a professional golfer and an up-and-coming junior player, with the juniors competing for more than $4000 in scholarships.
''Including juniors in this premier event really cements it as a legacy to Brian's vision and to his personal values,'' Simon Perry said.
The Brian Perry Trust provides more than a dozen scholarships annually through Wintec and Waikato University.