For the first time in history a woman golfer will compete in the New Zealand Open.

Swedish LPGA Tour regular Pernilla Lindberg has been invited to take part in the tournament which takes place at Millbrook Resort and The Hills in Queenstown at the end of February.

Tournament director Michael Glading says Lindberg's inclusion is part of a fun and novel approach to this year's event.

"We live in an age that is now more open than ever to new ideas and innovation," Glading said in a statement. "The fact that Pernilla is happy to come and compete in what is traditionally a men's event, makes this a very special addition to the tournament."


While Lindberg will be competing for the New Zealand Open title, she'll also be paired with All Blacks star Beauden Barrett in the Pro-Am competition that runs alongside it.

"I'm really looking forward to the tournament and it's great to be paired with a player of Pernilla's ability. I'm sure it'll be good fun and I hope I can learn a few things from her on the course," Barrett said in a statement.

While Lindberg is no golfing superstar - she is currently ranked 167th in the world - her addition to the field of competitors is a rare one within a sport heavy on tradition.

Lindberg has been one of the most consistent players on the LPGA, amassing more than NZ$4 million in prize money to date, with highlights that include playing for Sweden at the Rio Olympics and a major win at the ANA Inspiration in 2018. She won after an exhausting eight extra holes after an initial three-way tie with American Jennifer Song and Korea's Inbee Park.

She started playing golf at the age of three and credits Annika Sorenstam as the individual who influenced her career the most. As an amateur she was a key member of Sweden's Espirito Santo Trophy winning team in 2008.

The New Zealand Open is a co-sanctioned event with the PGA Tour of Australasia and the Asian Tour, in partnership with the Japan Golf Tour, and runs from February 27 to March 1.