The LPGA Tour will be heading to New Zealand next year for the MCKAYSON New Zealand Womens Open which will take place September 28-October 1, 2017 at the Windross Farm Golf Course in Ardmore, Auckland.

The MCKAYSON New Zealand Womens Open, which will boast a purse of US$1.3m, will mark the first LPGA or PGA TOUR event to take place in New Zealand.

"The MCKAYSON New Zealand Womens Open will be a tremendous addition to the LPGA schedule in 2017 and beyond," said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. "Were excited to extend our global reach, partner with a great company like MCKAYSON, and enable our Tour Players and global television viewers to experience the beauty of New Zealand."

New Zealand Golf and its promoter The Clubhouse (NZ) Limited have reached a significant title sponsorship agreement with MCS Holdings Inc. which owns the apparel and accessory sports brand MCKAYSON.

MCKAYSON is a newly launched global brand offering high quality sportswear created using its own unique design team, a high level of technology and powerful sourcing capability throughout the world.

"We are pleased to become the title sponsor of the MCKAYSON New Zealand Womens Open and play an integral part in a new tournament on the LPGA Tour," said MCS Holdings Inc Chairman, Min Cheol Kim.

"MCS Holdings Inc will utilize this sponsorship as a means for extensive promotion and marketing to build MCKAYSON as a successful international brand in the global market. The company also believes it has a social responsibility to the game of golf through its sponsorship which offers both tangible and intangible benefits to our company and New Zealand."

The announcement today is the culmination of a two-year vision to attract one of the worlds biggest womens sporting organizations to New Zealand, said The Clubhouse (NZ) Ltd managing director, Michael Goldstein.

"This has been made possible with the fantastic sponsorship from MCKAYSON and the support from Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and we thank them for sharing our vision."

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says "The tournament allows us to work with Government to showcase Auckland to wider high-value tourism markets like those in China, Japan, South Korea, the US, Australia and the UK.

"The media exposure alone in the high value markets will reach millions of people. The coverage we get from this will help grow golfing tourism to the benefit of Auckland."

The announcement will present an historic first opportunity for Rolex Rankings No. 1 Lydia Ko to compete in an LPGA event in her home city of Auckland.

"I am so excited with this announcement to bring the LPGA to my hometown in Auckland," said Ko. "I am honoured to be the first player to sign up to play. It is going to be amazing for me and my family to host my LPGA friends in my country. I want to see golf grow in New Zealand and more women playing the game, so this news today is fantastic."

The tournament, established in 2009 and co-sanctioned on the Ladies European Tour from the following year, will continue to build upon the growth of golf in New Zealand with more than $500 million invested in new golf facilities over the past 15 years, including the Brett Thomson and Phil Tataurangi-designed Windross Farm Golf Club which will host the event.

"New Zealand Golf is thrilled with the boost for golf and the golf industry in this country and for the womens game in particular," said New Zealand Golf CEO, Dean Murphy.

"Inbound golf tourism brought in $329 million to New Zealand in the year ended August 2016, which was a 23 per cent increase over last year.

"The LPGA international platform will allow Auckland and New Zealand a unique opportunity to promote ourselves to a worldwide audience in over 150 countries with over eight hours of television coverage.

"We have a chance to show off our great golf courses in this country to a massive global audience and build on the investment in golf infrastructure and tourism. Bringing the major womens golf tour to this country will provide an unprecedented opportunity for all golfers and sports fans to watch some of the games best players in action, as well as excite young kids to take up the sport. And it gives us a chance for Lydia to play in an LPGA event here at home."

Tickets will go on sale early next year, with more details to be released in the coming weeks. For more information on the event please visit: www.nzwomensopen.com.

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Golf NZ