The NSW Regional Open Series has returned to the State’s sporting calendar.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole announced the rescheduled series alongside Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders, Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh and Member for Tweed Geoff Provest.
Mr Toole said the six-tournament $300,000 series would bring some welcome financial relief to towns across regional NSW racked by two years of disruption due to COVID-19.
"The NSW Open Regional Qualifying series will deliver significant economic and tourism benefits to regional NSW, while giving golfers the chance to test themselves on some of the best courses Australia has to offer," Mr Toole said.
"Each RQ winner will then get the opportunity to tee it up at Concord in 2022 and the chance to etch their name alongside the greats of the game.
"World Golf Hall of Fame inductees Kel Nagle, Greg Norman, and Peter Thomson have all won the NSW Open Championship, and the Regional Qualifier series may well unearth our State’s next golfing superstar.”
The six-tournament Series will kick off on November 24th at the impressive Murray Downs Golf and Country Club Resort.
Returning to Dubbo Golf Club is The Western Open. In the second event on the schedule, fans of the sport will be keen to see if Yeoval-born Aaron Wilkin can defend the crown he won in February this year.
The New Year will begin with the Queanbeyan Open from January 5th to 7th. European Tour star Deyen Lawson is a likely return starter and hopeful of retaining his title.
Moruya Golf Club will again host the South Coast Open, beginning on January 29th. Western Australia's Rick Kulacz, a winner of the NSW Open as an amateur back in 2006, will be keen to defend his crown.
The time-honoured North Coast Open at Coffs Harbour Golf Club also returns to the calendar beginning on February 21st, with a pro-am followed by 36 holes of championship golf. Queensland-based Japanese Tour player Anthony Quayle could again be the man to beat.
The final event of the series, the Tweed Coast Open, will get underway on February 24th at Coolangatta-Tweed Heads Golf Club. With fierce weather forcing the 2021 event to be abandoned without a shot hit, players not already qualified for the NSW Open will be keen for some success and the chance to become the event's maiden champion.
Stuart Fraser, CEO of Golf NSW, said all six regional centres involved should receive a welcome economic boost.
"The Regional Open Series will bring big benefits to all of the host towns," Mr Fraser said.
"Not only will there be a significant boost to the local economy, but golfers in regional NSW will see first-hand some of our sport's brightest young stars."
With a $50,000 purse on offer at each (professionals only), the top three place-getters (professional or amateur) at each tournament will also secure a start in the 2022 NSW Open, to be held at the renowned Concord Golf Club in March.
NSW REGIONAL OPEN SERIES:
The Murray Open – Murray Downs Golf Resort
The Western Open – Dubbo GC
Queanbeyan Open – Queanbeyan GC
South Coast Open – Moruya GC
North Coast Open – Coffs Harbour GC
Tweed Coast Open – Tweed Heads GC