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The Open will be launched with a par 3 event on the newly built course called "The Farm" at The Hills in Arrowtown on February 27, the day before the Open starts.
The 100th New Zealand Open will run from February 28 to March 3 at the Millbrook Resort and The Hills in Queenstown.
The par 3 event will also be the first time Sir Michael Hill’s brand-new par 3 course will be played by anyone other than a few Hills members. A private property, this represents a unique opportunity for the public to see this world-class and very exciting course.
"The day will see all of the past New Zealand Open champions compete in what will undoubtedly be a fun day," Tournament director Michael Glading said.
"We have decided to open the gates and allow the public to come in at no charge and enjoy this special occasion at a very special venue."
There are 15 past champions confirmed to play in the par three event, including New Zealanders Sir Bob Charles, Michael Campbell, Greg Turner and Mike Hendry, along with other former Open champions like Brad Kennedy, Dimi Papadatos, Matt Griffin and last year’s champion Daniel Nisbet.
They will be joined by New Zealand favourite Ryan Fox, a select group of amateurs and some of the tournament ambassadors including Stephen Fleming, Brendon McCullum, Ricky Ponting, Tom Walsh, Sir Ian Botham, Jeff Wilson, Shane Warne and others.
The par 3 event will be loosely based around that played at the Masters, where it has been around for half a century.
It will involve everyone from past champions, sponsors, golfing VIPs, tournament ambassadors and a few select amateur players from the Pro-Am.