Dropping of round boost for strokeplay events

The dropping of a round appears to have given strokeplay events in the South a boost.

Otago Golf Club director of golf Shelley Duncan was delighted this year's Otago strokeplay championship attracted a capacity field of 96 players.

''The series of events has attracted golfers from Canterbury and Southland which has boosted the field,'' she said.

''Canterbury administrator Rachel Thow and I got together 18 months ago and discussed combining both provinces' strokeplay events to create more interest. It worked well last year and Southland has come on board this year increasing the prize pool as well as the size of the fields.''

The numbers wanting to spend an entire weekend on the golf course were dwindling with a low field of 41 golfers, including only three women, entering the 2016 event.

The field increased to 83 last year while last weekend's event attracted the maximum number Balmacewen could accommodate.

''All three events were traditionally 72 holes but we have reduced them to three rounds which has provided out-of-town golfers more time to travel home,'' Duncan said.

This year the top male received $1250 while the runner-up gets a voucher worth $750.

The top female and the top under-19 male get $625 vouchers to be spent on travel and tournament expenses.

The associations have got on board with Canterbury and Southland putting in $750 while Golf Otago and the Otago Golf Club have each added $375 to the House of Travel sponsorship.

Golf Otago has also sponsored the top six top men and top two women with $550 each to assist them to compete in the three events.

''These players, decided on the Order of Merit, must make a commitment to compete in all three strokeplay championships or they have to repay the money,'' Golf Otago executive officer Doug Harradine said.

The voucher winners in this year's series will be decided after the Southland event on the Otatara course in Invercargill on February 10-11.

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