Adam Scott not a starter for New Zealand Open

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 20/06/2013
Steve Williams
Getty Images
PROMISE MADE: Adam Scott promised Kiwi caddie Steve Williams he would play an NZ Open if he won a major. He won the Masters this year.

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Adam Scott will not be in Christchurch later this year to play in the New Zealand Open, but organisers remain confident he will play in the tournament eventually.

The Masters champion and current world No 4 sparked all sorts of excitment when an agreement between the Australian and his Kiwi caddie Steve Williams was revealed.

New Zealand Golf boss Dean Murphy told Fairfax Media of the arrangement in which Williams told Scott that if he won a major, he'd have to play in a New Zealand Open.

Scott is understood to have agreed then in April won the Masters.

As Michael Hendry was last year's New Zealand Open highest ranked player at 350, having a genuine world class player in the field would have been a major coup for the tournament.

A drawcard of Scott's proportions would also go along way to easing the concerns of the district associations who are believed to be worried too much money is being spent on the marquee tournament - money which could be being spent to help the struggling grassroots game.

Scott would bring in more sponsors, more exposure, more punters and, most importantly of all, more money.

Murphy however, confirmed Scott would not be turning up to the New Zealand Open this year, but quickly added he was part of a long-term plan.

"The message we've had from Steven [Williams] and his people is it's a down the track thing," Murphy said.

"It's a two, three, four year down the track thing, not for this year. Unfortunately."

Meanwhile, the date and venue of the men's open is yet to be confirmed.

Clearwater is expecting to host the tournament and the obvious gap in the Australian PGA calendar is ?late in October and early in November where, currently, there are two weekends free.

Nothing has been confirmed yet and Murphy said announcements to do with the New Zealand men's and women's opens and the New Zealand PGA tournament would be made next month.

When asked whether he expected any major changes for the New Zealand Open, he said "no".

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