Tournament History

The New Zealand Open is an iconic event, steeped in the history and drama dating back to 1907.

Click here to view our all of our previous NZ Open Champions.

The Hills
There had been competition golf played since 1893, but in the inaugural New Zealand Open at Napier Golf Club a record 130 players participated. The field included 123 amateurs and seven professionals and was dominated by amateur legend A.D.S.(Arthur) Duncan who became the first New Zealand Open Champion.
J.A.Clements from Wanganui was only 19 years old when he became the first New Zealand born professional to win. He went on to become prominent in the games development. He went on to win again in 1909 & 1912.
A.D.S.Duncan dominates at Christchurch's Shirley course winning with a total of 295, a tournament record that would stand for 20 years. Duncan won again in 1911 at Belmont in Wanganui.
E.S. Douglas, a newcomer from Scotland won his first NZ Open in bitter conditions at Balmacewen. He went on to defend in 1914 at Auckland's Middlemore course, then after the NZ Open was not played during the war years returned to make it three in a row in 1919. That event was back at Napier Golf Club. Douglas would win for the last time in 1921.
J.H.Kirkwood becomes the first Australian to win, being the only player to record all four rounds in the 70's.
The Jellicoe Cup for the lowest individual round was presented by Earl Jellicoe of Scapa. The inaugural winner was A.D.S.Duncan with a score of 71. Duncan finished runner up to E.J. (Ernie) Moss in an event played at Middlemore. Moss would win again in 1927 & 1933.
Andy Shaw won the first of his seven New Zealand Open Championships. At Miramar in this year he beat E.J. Moss in an 18 hole play-off. Shaw went on to win four in a row, 1929-1932, 1934 and 1936. Shaw was truly a legend of the game in this era.
1930 Shaw's winning score of 284 was a new record and bettered only once in the next 20 years.
The Bledisloe Cup for leading amateur at the New Zealand Open was presented by Viscount Bledisloe with the inaugural winner Brian Silk.
Scottish professional Alex Murray, having won in 1935, was sensationally disqualified after returning the best four round total. He had practiced his putting on the fringe of a green on the 8th green in the final round. Amateur J.P.Hornabrook went on to win in a three way play off. He would win again in 1939. Murray would bounce back to win in 1948 & 1952.
South African legend Bobby Locke wins at Balmacewen.
After returning from the war Bob Glading won back to back New Zealand Open Championships.
Peter Thomson wins the first of his nine New Zealand Open Championships.
18 year old amateur sensation Bob Charles stares down two of the best players in the world, Peter Thomson and Bruce Crampton to with the first of his four titles.
Australian Harry Berwick becomes the last amateur to win the New Zealand Open when beating Bob Charles and Stuart Jones by two strokes at Shirley.
Kel Nagle wins the first of his seven New Zealand Open Championships, in an era dominated by Australians, particularly Thomson.
One of the games greats Gary Player finishes 3rd behind Nagle and Thomson.
The New Zealand Open Championship becomes a stand-alone event and no longer played beside the Amateur Championship.
Bob Charles wins his first New Zealand Open as a professional. Played at Paraparaumu Beach and a strong field including England's Tony Jacklin, Charles won by a record 13 strokes which still stands today.
Simon Owen wins his only New Zealand Open Championship at Heretaunga.
The legendary Payne Stewart traveled down under playing in the New Zealand Open. Stewart went on to win three majors before his tragic death in 1999.
Ian Baker-Finch wins his first national Open Championship, later going on to win the 1991 British Open.
The Hills
Another future major winner plays in the New Zealand Open. Corey Pavin won at Paraparaumu and returned the next year to successfully defend his title at Russley.
Australian Rodger Davis sets the scoring record when winning his first of two New Zealand Opens at the Grange. He won by eight shots scoring 67, 62, 65 and 68. A young Jose-Maria Olazabal finished 7th. Davis won again in 1991.
It took a seven hole play-off before Irishman Ronan Rafferty beat American Larry Nelson. Later that year Nelson won his third major championship, the US PGA.
Greg Turner wins his first New Zealand Open at Paraparaumu by six shots. He again won in 1997 at Auckland Golf Club.
Grant Waite wins his only New Zealand Open and along the way making an albatross two on the par 5 18th at Paraparaumu.
The challenge with scheduling dates on the Australasian Tour mean an unusual year when two New Zealand Open Championships are played. Lucas Parsons won at Heretaunga in January and later in December Peter O'Malley was victorious at The Grange.
Michael Long completes his incredible haul of national titles adding the New Zealand Open to his Amateur (1990), Junior (1988) and Boys (1985) titles.
An emotional win for kiwi Matthew Lane at the new Formosa course in Auckland.
Michael Campbelll shoots 64 in the final round to tie compatriot Craig Perks before winning with an eagle on the 2nd play-off hole.
David Smail wins his only New Zealand Open Championship.
World number one Tiger Woods plays the New Zealand Open at Paraparaumu but the event is affected by a terrorist threat. Woods finished in a tie for 5th. Australian Craig Parry won the title claiming it to be the most important win of his career at the time.
Mahal Pearce produces four sub-par rounds to win the 86th Open Championship.
Amateur Brad Heaven nearly becomes the first amateur in 47 years to win the New Zealand Open, falling one shot short to eventual champion Terry Price.
The New Zealand Open co-sanctions with the European Tour improving the quality of the field. Niclas Fasth wins in a play-off at Gulf Harbour.
The New Zealand Open moves to The Hills for the next three years. This is the final year of the European co-sanction, but is replaced for the next two by the USPGA secondary tour (Nationwide) co-sanctioning. Bob Charles becomes the oldest player to make the cut in an official European Tour event, aged 71.
Despite the February 2011 earthquake which killed 185 people, New Zealand Golf retain Clearwater as the venue. Brad Kennedy wins in a play off from 2002 champion Craig Parry, while kiwi Josh Geary finished 3rd.


The NZ Open returns to Queenstown with the Hills and Millbrook co-hosting the tournament. The National Championship introduces a new innovative pro-am format where amateurs and celebrities play alongside the pros.


Jordan Zunic, only six weeks after turning professional, wins his maiden PGA Tour of Australasia title with an incredible -21 score


Australian Matt Griffin narrowly holds off Hideto Tanihara to win the Brodie Breeze Cup. Followed by Mike Hendry, Shunsuke Sonoda and Yoshi Fujimoto with all of the top five playing on the Japan Tour.


Michael Hendry won over fellow Kiwi Ben Campbell and Australian Brad Kennedy in a dramatic playoff. Both Campbell and Kennedy found the water on the 1st playoff hole and Hendry made par to be the first kiwi winner in 14 years.


Australian golfer Daniel Nisbet become the 99th winner shooting a 62 to run down ovenight leader Terry Pilkadaris who had a 5 shot lead.