How it works: Pros partner with amateurs

Each of this week’s 156 pro golfers are partnered with a ‘pay to play’ amateur, competing in a teams event.

New Zealand Open tournament director Michael Glading says each team plays today and tomorrow, across the two courses at Millbrook Resort, with the best net score on every hole being counted.

After tomorrow’s play, the pro-am field is cut to the top 40 to go through to the weekend — and then there’s a second cut on Saturday night, with just the top 10 pro-am teams carrying on to the final day.

Glading says the amateurs are playing for golf-related travel prizes, including a trip to Te Arai Links golf course, in Northland, while the pros are playing for a share of the $50,000 prize money in the pro-am.

Simultaneously, the pro golfers are competing for the New Zealand Open title.

The pro field is cut to the top 60, plus ties, after tomorrow’s play — they’re playing for the $1.86million Open purse.