NZ golf pleased with first BMW NZ Open
- Sunday, 4 December 2011
New Zealand Golf has labelled the BMW New Zealand Open in Christchurch as an “incredible success.”
They believe the return to Christchurch for the first time since 1985 has resulted in an excellent event at the Clearwater Golf Club, well supported by key sponsors and the public as well as being financially sustainable.
“It’s been an incredibly successful for the first BMW New Zealand Open at Clearwater. There has been obvious challenges throughout the last year not so much for us as tournament organisers but for the people of Christchurch in general,” said New Zealand Golf Chief Executive Dean Murphy.
“The last week has been a great vindication of the resolve that we, the Christchurch City Council and BMW showed to stay here with this tournament in Christchurch.
“It’s been a wonderful success. We have had some fantastic crowd numbers, the weather has been great, a lot of kiwis there or thereabouts on the leaderboard, and I think from a logistical perspective, operational perspective, player perspective and local town perspective it been a great success.”
The event has drawn excellent crowds with numbers for Thursday and Friday ahead of the previous New Zealand Open with an estimated final paid attendance of approximately 16,000.
“It’s good for Christchurch and good that a lot of people have come out to watch. For those who have been around all week, the restaurants, hotels, taxi drivers have all been buzzing with the tournament. It’s been a really good thing for the city.”
New Zealand Golf believes the current standing as an Australasian Tour event is right level for the tournament.
“We are a tier one PGA Tour of Australasia event. Where it sits now is about right for where a professional golf tournament in New Zealand should sit.
“It’s important that we can live within our means but it doesn’t mean we don’t have aspirations to grow the tournament, increase the prize money and improve the quality of players in terms of world rankings that come here.”
New Zealand Golf believes commercial opportunities will grow for the event in the next two years.
“Fortunately we are very close to meeting budget and if we have a good day today we will be right on budget on this event. And in terms of New Zealand Golf, our inputs financially to contribute to the event will be significantly less than we have for the last three events.
“So from a financial perspective we are living within our means but it does not mean we do not have aspirations to grow the event.
“It has been a challenging time for the people of Christchurch. There’s been the earthquakes, we’ve had a Rugby World Cup, an election and a worldwide recession.
“The first year of doing anything is difficult. We are really pleased we have got here now and we are looking forward to growing the event. We think there’s a lot more interest commercially with the calls I’ve taken in the last two days. That’s encouraging.
“Ideally we would like to perhaps have the tournament a little bit earlier and that is what we are talking to the Tour about now.”