Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Fans already lining up to watch world’s best LPGA golfers

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ALL SMILES: Lydia Ko (centre front in white cap) at the Windross Farm Golf Course. Photo supplied

The world’s best female golfers will be playing in our backyard later this year.

The first LPGA event in this country, featuring New Zealand’s world number one-ranked Lydia Ko, will take place at the newly-developed Windross Farm Golf Course in Ardmore from September 28 to October 1.

Organisers of the Mckayson New Zealand Women’s Open have limited the season passes to 5000 in order to “ensure the maximum fan experience at the tournament”. More than half of passes has already been scooped up, says tournament director, Michael Goldstein.

“This is the first time that the world’s biggest women’s golf tour has come to our backyard,” says Goldstein. “This tour is developing into a truly global one which has been popular because these women put on a real show.

“We want those who come to enjoy a special experience to watch the world’s best players and also to enjoy all of the other fan-engagement activities that we are planning.”

Goldstein said the organisers wanted to ensure the ticket prices were affordable for all, with the four-day season pass set at $99. Single day passes are also on sale with daily entry of $39 for Thursday and Friday and $49 per day for Saturday and Sunday.

Goldstein says they wanted to create at this event that appealed not only to golf fans and sports fans but corporate and women’s organisations who can use it as an opportunity to network and watch the world’s best female golfers in action.

Bringing the LPGA event has taken dedication and planning. “It’s been a vision of mine which started over two years ago while I was living overseas,” says Goldstein.

In November they finally secured government and council backing. Goldstein had worked in Hong Kong contracting on, among other events, the NZ Open in Queenstown.

The idea of bringing the LPGA to NZ was born. “From the outset I was really keen to make this a reality.

And he had Ko’s support from the outset. “She’s been a huge contributor for this from day one,” says Goldstein.

“She’s been helping us talk to some big names.”

Goldstein, who returned to NZ andd lives in Auckland city, can’t reveal just yet which international players will be competing. He says an announcement is likely to be made in the next month once he has completed a scouting trip to coincide with an LPGA event in Dallas this weekend.

He paid tribute to the Pakuranga Golf Club which has provided support through a number of volunteers.

“It’s very exciting…it’s about capturing some of that magic Lydia brings to her game – even during this relatively quiet time in the past six months.

“She continues to capture the nation’s interest with her success”.

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