Australian golfer Katherine Kirk, fresh off her victory on the LPGA Tour yesterday, has confirmed her start in September's MCKAYSON New Zealand Women's Open in Auckland.
Kirk scored her third LPGA Tour victory on Monday (NZ time) with a one-shot win at the Thornberry Creek Classic in Wisconsin, USA to take her career earnings to over NZ$6 million.
The Australian, who played in the first New Zealand Women's Open in 2009, today confirmed she will line-up at the first ever LPGA event in New Zealand, to be staged at Windross Farm golf course near Auckland on 28 September - 1 October.
The Queenslander, who is based in Kansas, has jumped 69 spots on the Rolex World Rankings as a result of the win and jumped inside the top-30 for the season-ending Race to the CME Globe.
She is thrilled with the victory and the opportunity to return to New Zealand.
"This was an unexpected win. I am totally stoked. This boosts my order of merit standings and world rankings and I am excited about that. It is so hard to win out here now," Kirk said.
"I love New Zealand. I've been there a bunch of times and even honeymooned there. I am excited they have a national championship back on the calendar. Auckland will be a great venue and I am sure we will get great crowds and it will be fun.
"New Zealand is the outdoor capital of the world - great hiking, fishing, golfing ... they have it all. And the people are very friendly. My husband is going to come down and we are going to stay a little extra and do some sight-seeing and maybe play some extra golf."
Kirk said that New Zealand golf fans will be in for a treat to see the world's best female golfers in action.
"We have a lot more young guns out here now than when I first joined the Tour. It's been great for the game. There's way more people interested and the girls are getting excited about turning pro and coming out here to play.
"They will definitely put on a great show."
MCKAYSON New Zealand Women's Open Tournament Director, Michael Goldstein welcomed the fact that another 2017 LPGA winner will join the field at Windross Farm.
"Katherine has been a star performer who has been a positive supporter ever since we announced the tournament.
"There will be a number of top Australians heading to this tournament and with the way that Katherine has performed last week, she is capable of winning in New Zealand."
Goldstein said he expects a number of players will be confirming their presence in the coming few weeks, especially after this week's US Women's Open.