Riding great Thomson to take part in Dunedin tourney

It is not only top-quality professional players lining up at the New Zealand Legends Masters tournament at Chisholm Links next month.

Some achievers in other fields, who are also handy golfers, will take part in the tournament on February 25-26.

One who will compete is former top jockey Brent Thomson.

Thomson, who was born and raised in New Zealand, is one of the best riders to come out of this country.

The Whanganui-born Thomson  won more than 3000 races around the world, including  more than 50 group 1 races, featuring four Cox Plates.

Thomson (59), who rode for Robert Sangster in the United Kingdom,  ended his riding career in 2000, having ridden in more than 25 countries.

Since then he has worked for New Zealand Bloodstock Ltd in Australia.

Thomson will be joined by Tomas Mazera, who has had a colourful career.

Mazera started off as a skier and represented his country of birth Czechoslovakia.

But he was always keen to be a racing car driver and emigrated to Australia shortly after the crushing of the 1968 uprising in his native country.

He eventually became involved in the touring car championship and ended up winning Bathurst 1000 in 1988, teaming up with Tony Longhurst.

He also finished third in in the great race in 1990 and 2002  before retiring from racing in 2004.

Former All Black captain and coach and keen golfer Brian Lochore will also line up in the field. Eight regional qualifying events around rural Otago and Southland have been held for the amateur side of the field.

In the legends category, a quality field has been put together for the two-round tournament.

Australian Peter Fowler looms as the man to beat, coming off a third place at the New Zealand Masters in Auckland last week.

That tournament was an open event  won by in-form Australian Matthew Millar.

Tournament co-ordinator John Evans said the past three winners of the Australasian Legends order of merit Brad Burns, Tim Elliott and Mike Harwood were set to be part of the tournament.

Former New Zealand Open champion Greg Turner is also set to play the tournament in front of his southern fans.

Evans said the  high-quality field for the event would feature 60 professionals from all over the world, along with more than 100 amateurs. The tournament is sponsored by the Otago Daily Times along with FMG-Farmlands.

The professionals will play a 36-hole strokeplay event while the amateurs will play a stableford competition.

Evans said the course was on the dry side and he hoped for more rain over the next few weeks.

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