Golf: Hale Irwin confirmed to play at NZ PGA Champs

Three-time US Open winner and World Golf Hall of Fame member Hale Irwin has been confirmed to play in next year's NZ PGA Championship at the Hills.

Irwin's career has spanned more than four decades and includes wins in three majors, 20 PGA Tour and 45 Champions Tour events.

He is the most successful player in Champions Tour history, amassing 208 top 10-finishes - including 45 wins, 43 second places, and 23 third-place finishes. Since turning 65 in 2010, Irwin has shot his age or better on seven occasions in Champions Tour events.

Irwin will be joined at the Hills for the championship which starts on February 28 by his Steve, who qualified for last year's US Open at the Congressional County Club in Bethesda, Maryland.

"I cherish the opportunity to come to New Zealand to play in the NZ PGA Championship. To travel with my son Steve, play golf in Queenstown and then sample some of your renowned fishing and hospitality is too good to miss. I am really looking forward to it", said Irwin.

One player who knows Irwin well and has played alongside him many times is Sir Bob Charles, who is looking forward to joining Hale on the fairways once again.

"Hale is a fantastic player and I've had the pleasure of walking the fairways of some of the world's greatest courses with Hale over the years, so I can't wait to show him around the Hills."

Other high-profile golfers and sporting celebrities confirmed in the tournament include cricketer Sir Ian Botham, World Amateur No1 Lydia Ko, Australian professional Brendan Jones, and defending champion Michael Hendry.

- APNZ

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