Vaughan McCall is one of four golfers named in the New
Zealand Open amateur line-up. Photo supplied.
Four amateurs including Gore's Vaughan McCall have been
named to contest the New Zealand Open Championship near
The other amateurs to earn their place at The Hills Golf Club
and Millbrook Resort from February 27 to March 2 are Cameron
Jones, of Muriwai, Kadin Neho, of Whangarei, and Jordan
Golding, of Omanu.
They will attempt to follow in the footsteps of Australian
Jake Higginbottom, who won the title in 2012 at Clearwater to
be the first amateur winner of the event since 1956.
McCall, who won the New Zealand stroke play and the New
Zealand amateur championship in 2012, earned his place in his
second New Zealand Open after finishing as the leading player
on the 2013 New Zealand Golf Order of Merit.
McCall (22), who plays out of the Gore Golf Club, is a
born-and-bred southerner. He said playing the New Zealand
Open so close to home would be a huge thrill.
''I can't lie - I'm absolutely stoked to have a start into
the New Zealand Open.
''I have had so many people ask if I'll be playing and I know
heaps of people who are keen to come and watch. It's a great
chance for me to fly the Gore flag. I can't wait.''
North Harbour No 1 Jones secured his place in the New Zealand
Open when he won the New Zealand stroke play championship at
the Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club for his breakthrough national
''It's a pretty special feeling getting to tee it up in my
national open again,'' the 21-year-old said.
''It is especially special as I gained the exemption from
winning the New Zealand stroke play and I feel like I have
earned my spot in the field.
''I'm extremely excited and working really hard at the
opportunity I have to compete with the pros. It will be a
good test around two great courses with a really strong
Joining Jones will be Northland No 1 Neho, who made history
at Manawatu Golf Club when he became the first golfer from
Northland to win the New Zealand amateur championship in 120
''I'm just grateful to have the opportunity to play in the
New Zealand Open. Who wouldn't be,'' the 18-year-old from
Whangarei Golf Club said.
''It's going to be a huge tournament. This will be my first
time playing the New Zealand Open and it's going to be an
Golding secured his place in the elite company when he won
the 76th New Zealand Maori Golf Championship in Taupo in
There was no New Zealand Open in 2013 due to tournament
rescheduling so Golding qualifies for the Queenstown event.