09 Jul 2020 | Professional golf |

NSW Open qualifiers a boon for regional centres

by Golf Australia

2019 champ Josh Younger proudly shows off the NSW Open trophy.
2019 champ Josh Younger proudly shows off the NSW Open trophy.

A series of six New South Wales Open qualifiers across the state will be a boost for regional economies recovering from drought, bushfires and the COVID-19 crisis.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, John Barilaro, announced the series at Dubbo Golf Club, which will host one of the qualifying events.

The six-event series will pit around 80 professionals and 40 elite amateurs compete with the top three placegetters (amateur or professional) at each event qualifying for this year's NSW Open, to be played on a venue and date to be fixed.

Each event will run over three days and feature an 18-hole pro-am practice round followed by the 36-hole tournament. The professionals will also vie for a purse of $50,000 per event.

Qualification tournaments will be held in Dubbo, Coffs Harbour, Queanbeyan and the Tweed region during September, with two more events to be hosted in the Albury and Bega regions.

Barilaro said the series would be a boost for regional communities.

"Golfers love a weekend away and a new course to play," he said.

"I'm sure fans will jump at the chance to plan a trip to watch the pros and get a few rounds in.

"The Department of Regional NSW will work with Golf NSW to deliver an event that is both Covid-safe and provides economic benefits through increased tourism."

Golf NSW chairman Peter Mitchell said the events would be a significant boost to many local economies.

"The vast majority of competitors will be coming from out of the region and some, hopefully, from interstate," Mitchell said.

"We know this means motels are booked, restaurants, clubs and pubs are busy. And towns will be buzzing while the tournament is under way."

Dubbo MP Dugald Saunders said the 2020 Women's NSW Open, held at Dubbo Golf Club in March, delivered many economic and social benefits to the Dubbo region.

"The women's Open was the first major tournament held in the region and it's fantastic news that another sporting event of that calibre will be played right here in Dubbo.

"Events like this bring new fans to the sport, attract visitors to the regions to enjoy the services and hospitality of local businesses," he said.

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