Poom relishing Kiwi challenge at ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open

Wed 21 Feb 2018

Poom relishing Kiwi challenge at ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open

Queenstown, New Zealand, February 21: Thailand’s Poom Saksansin is relishing the challenges of competing in New Zealand for the first time in his distinguished career when the ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open tees off next week.

The 99th ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open, sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia and in partnership with the Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO), will be played at Millbrook Resort and The Hills from March 1-4.

Poom, a two-time Asian Tour winner, is expected to light up the NZ$1.2 million event together with more than 10 Asian Tour winners that also features 2016 Order of Merit champion Scott Hend of Australia.

“I’m really excited about going to New Zealand. This will be my first time in New Zealand and I want to make it a really memorable affair. I’ll be flying to India after New Zealand and although the journey is going to be very long, I don’t really mind."

“I have heard so many wonderful things about the country especially the scenery and I want to experience it myself,” said Poom.

The ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open will see 144 players compete for the first two rounds before the halfway cut is made where the leading 60 players and ties progress to the final two rounds.

The unique nature of the event also includes 144 amateur players, who will each partner a professional in a two-man best-ball event in the first two rounds.

“It’s always interesting whenever there’s a new format. I’m looking forward to playing with my pro-am partner and most importantly, have fun,” said the 24-year-old.

Poom has enjoyed an encouraging start to his 2018 Asian Tour season so far. He emerged as one of the standout performers for Team Asia at the EurAsia Cup and finished tied-12th and tied-10th in Singapore and Myanmar respectively last month.

“I’m playing well and hopefully I can get that next win very soon,” smiled Poom.

Other notable players at the ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open include 2017 Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit champion Pannakorn Uthaipas of Thailand and American Kurt Kitayama, who finished third at the Asian Tour Qualifying School before going on to win his first ADT title in Malaysia last month.

The Asian Tour became a full co-sanctioning partner of the ISPS HANDA New Zealand Open following an initial collaboration which saw 10 Asian Tour members featuring in the 2017 edition.

About Asian Tour

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), Habitat for Humanity (Official Sustainable Development Partner), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), Titleist and FootJoy (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.

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