This week six of New Zealands leading amateurs will play in the worlds biggest individual stroke play event, The Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship. The winner of this prestigious tournament will receive an invitation to play in the 2017 Masters at Augusta National.
Nick Voke (Manakau/Iowa State), Luke Toomey (Riverside), Ryan Chisnall (Greenacres), Nick Coxon (Riverside), Daniel Hillier (Manor Park) and Luke Brown (The Pines) all have the opportunity to create history at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Korea this week.
With New Zealand being awarded hosting rights for the 2017 tournament at Royal Wellington a large part of this years tournament is one big reconnaissance mission as well. This may be the biggest tournament to have ever been played in our country and provides an amazing opportunity as the home nation with an extra four players able to be selected (10 total).
This event is treated no different to a world leading professional event and you can certainly see it. The effort and precision gone in to make this feel like the Mini Masters is simply superb and with a good contingent of Kiwis here, it will do wonders for not only our players, but for anyone involved in next years tournament.
The above combination of New Zealand players provides a great mixture of youth and experience this week, especially after a successful Eisenhower Trophy campaign recently where Voke, Toomey and Chisnall finished an impressive sixth place on the world stage.
This will be Vokes third AAC making him very experienced, which will play a massive part as he feels this is his best chance to be there late on Sunday afternoon.
"I guess previous years it was a fantasy, but coming into this year its probably the first time I have got a legitimate chance, but with that comes a little expectation and added pressure, so it will be nice to see how I go with those obstacles," said Voke.
"It may be an individual tournament, but it definitely has that team feel to it. We are all wearing the same uniforms and all representing the same country, so there is that element which will help make you step up."
His determination was clear and Voke is certainly one to watch as the week progresses in Korea.
"To play for what we can, put everything on the line and compete against the best there is now better feeling in golf. This is why we practise, this why we do what we do week in week out so we are pretty excited for round one."
This week has been made all the more special being played at the 2010 established Jack Nicklaus Golf Club, which already has some rich history after hosting the Presidents Cup last year. This featured our very own Danny Lee who played in his first Presidents Cup against a strong American outfit.
Lee sent through his best wishes to the players today with some great insight on how to play the course and how to handle yourself on the big stage which will no doubt motivate our boys.
To show the magnitude of the AAC, the event is broadcasted to over 160 countries with Sky Sport having LIVE coverage throughout New Zealand starting Thursday.
Continuing under its banner of Creating Future Heroes, the AAC will feature 120 players from the APGCs 39 member associations and will be played over 72-holes of stroke play, with a cut for the leading 60 players plus ties.
For a chance to play at the Masters, enjoy watching the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship.
- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Golf NZ