Golf enthusiasts in the Bay of Plenty express their dismay after the recent cancellation of two major events.
Both the Tauranga Open and the Mount Open have become the youngest victims of the current Covid-19 outbreak.
In consultation with Golf New Zealand and the PGA of New Zealand, the venues have decided to cancel this year’s events with professional players from Auckland and Waikato who may not be able to compete.
“As there was no clear time frame for the reopening of the border with Auckland, the clubs did not consider holding the events possible,” said a statement from Golf New Zealand.
Mount Maunganui Golf Club’s general manager Mike Williams says they did everything in their power to play off the competition, but it has proven impossible.
“It was disappointing to have to cancel the Christies Floorings Mount Open 2021,” he says.
“We were originally supposed to be hosting it in late September, and when the lockdown came in August we were proactive and postponed it until the last week of October.
“Unfortunately, postponing it for a month has not proven sufficient as Auckland is still at Level 3 for the foreseeable future and the event will not be viable without them.
“Usually there are a lot of professional and amateur players from the Auckland area. The organizers of Golf NZ and NZPGA are also based in Auckland. “
Mike thanks the sponsors and supporters of the event for standing by their side during a difficult time.
“We hope it will return bigger and better in September 2022.
“The club is still considering running a Pro-Am for players outside the Auckland and Waikato regions on October 27th.
“We will know in the coming days whether this is possible.”
Tauranga Golf Club manager Michelle Towersey is equally frustrated with the situation and shares her concern for the players missing out on the game.
“We’re really disappointed on behalf of the players who look forward to playing the Carrus Open every year,” said Michelle.
“The professional golfers rely on these events for an income and this is another victim of the Covid pandemic.”
Golf NZ will continue to monitor the situation regarding the New Zealand Amateur Championship scheduled for the first weekend of November in Otago and the Freyberg Masters in Paraparaumu the following week.