The Players

Some of the players to watch during the New Zealand Open

2019 Professional players we hope to welcome to the 100th NZ Open


Ryan Fox

Ryan Fox

New Zealand’s top ranked player continues to make enormous progress on the world stage. His top 10 finish in the Italian Open was followed by making all 4 rounds at the tough US Open, ensuring that he remains well inside the top 40 in the European Tour rankings, with current earnings in excess of NZ$800K, as he leads into the second half of the European Tour year.

Michael Hendry

Michael Hendry

After a quiet start to the year, Mike has hit form again, finishing 2nd in the gateway to the Open event in Japan. Not only does this lift Mike back into the top 30 in Japan, it also ensures that he will be playing in the British Open at Carnoustie.

Scott Hend

Scott Hend

The likeable Australian is slowly recovering from a wrist injury, and his top 20 at the Italian Open, followed by 6th place in the recent Thailand Open, shows a return to form and fitness. Still one of the longest hitters on tour, Scott has won the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2016 and represented Australia in the Olympics that same year.

KJ Choi

KJ Choi

The popular and legendary KJ really enjoyed his first visit to New Zealand in 2017, and we are hoping to entice him back for the 100th NZ Open. KJ has already had another top 5 finish on the PGA Tour this year, adding to his career winnings of over US$50 million (which includes eight wins on the US PGA Tour).

Y.E. Yang

Y.E. Yang

The 2009 USPGA Champion has returned to form, after a number of years in the relative wilderness. Since earning his Japan Tour card (by winning the 2017 Tour School), YE has now won his first Japan Tour event since 2006; his win at the Crowns event was his 5th win in Japan and sees his world ranking rise from an all-time low of #815 at the time of the 2017 NZ Open, to a current ranking of #311 – one of the biggest rises in the world rankings this year.

Marcus Fraser

Marcus Fraser

The 2016 Olympian has been a consistent performer at the NZ Open – finishing top 30 again in 2017. He has had a quiet start to his 2017 European Tour season, with only one top 20 and two top 30 finishes this season to date. The amiable Australian will be working hard to ensure a return to form in the coming months.

Brad Kennedy

Brad Kennedy

The 2011 NZ Open winner has made a slow start to his year in Japan, although his 5th place finish in the recent Japan Tour Championship has elevated him back into the top 50 for the 2018 season. Brad has won 11 times throughout his career, and as well as winning in 2011, he also finished runner-up to Mike Hendry in Queenstown in 2017.

Brendan Jones

Brendan Jones

Having won over NZ$13m in Japan throughout his career, the enigmatic Australian shows no slowing down, having already had four top 10 Japan Tour finishes this year (with only 8 tournaments played). Another victory in the months ahead seems likely, to add to his impressive 14 wins in Japan throughout his career.

Dimitrios Papadatos

Dimitrios Papadatos

The 2014 NZ Open winner has taken longer than expected to make the progress many predicted; at last, his breakthrough now seems close. Having won the Western Australian PGA Championship and the Victorian Open in Australia in 2017, he has now had a win in Europe. Competing on the European Challenge tour, Dimi won the 2018 Portuguese Open in May, which now places him within touching distance of a full European Tour card.

Ben Campbell

Ben Campbell

Kiwi Ben Campbell continues to improve, with consistent performances on the Asian Tour, where he has limited status. Having won the 2018 NZ PGA Championship, he has now finished 2nd in the Bangladesh open, followed by a top 30 finish in Thailand – further evidence that this promising Kiwi has recovered from his injury-plagued start to his career, and is showing the form that made him one of the world’s top amateurs before he turned professional in 2012.

Luke Toomey

Luke Toomey

Another talented young Kiwi who is showing much progress. Since missing the cut in Queenstown this year Luke has played in six events, missing only one cut, and making the top 20 in every other event played. Further, he has had two runner-up finishes on the China Tour and two top 10 finishes in events run by the PGA Tour of China.

Daniel Nisbet

Daniel Nisbet

It has been a frustrating time for our defending champion, as he tries to manage a wrist injury that has curtailed some of his appearances this year. He has been having treatment and giving the injury some ‘time out’ in an effort to avoid surgery. He played his first 4-round Asian Tour event in Thailand this month and was pleased to come through unscathed. The next few weeks will show if his recovery is now on the right track.

Cameron Davis

Cameron Davis

The 2017 Australian Open champ continues to rise up the world rankings, following his first win in the USA, winning the Nashville Open on the web.com tour. This follows a 4th place finish in the Knoxville Open (also a web.com tour event). He now sits well within the Top 25, as he strives to earn his full PGA Tour card for 2019.

Paul Peterson

Paul Peterson

Left-handed American Paul Peterson remains well within the world’s top 150, despite three recent missed cuts. His win at the 2018 Myanmar open secures his Asian tour and Japan tour status and allows him to play on both tours in the year ahead.

Panuphol Pittayarat

Panuphol Pittayarat

The extremely likeable ‘Coconut,’ as he is known, has recently won his home (Thailand) Open, his second Asian Tour win in the past 18 months. This has moved him into the world’s top 200 for the first time in his young career – his win in Thailand followed four consecutive missed cuts, which shows his impressive mental strength.

Mathew Griffin

Mathew Griffin

The 2016 NZ Open winner has made a solid start to his year, with two top 10 finishes in Japan, backed up with a 12th place in the Japan Tour championship, alongside two other top 30 finishes this year. He has already done enough to secure his playing card for 2019, and can look forward to more success in the months ahead.

Josh Geary

Josh Geary

To some degree 2018 will be a ‘make or break’ year for the hard-working Kiwi, as he makes his way on the European tour for the first time. His challenge is to get enough starts; to date he has had seven starts, making the cut four times. His goal will be to secure his card for next year.

John Catlin

John Catlin

The American-born Catlin has had his maiden victory since appearing in the 2018 NZ Open, with a win in the Asia-Pacific Classic played in China, an event co-sanctioned with the Asian tour and the China tour. In the year to date he has also had one 2nd place finish, one 3rd, one 4th and two other top 10 finishes. He now sits just outside the world top 200 rankings, and shows continued progress.

Lucas Herbert

Lucas Herbert

Very much a part of the ‘new breed’ of talented Australians making their way on the world stage. Along with the likes of fellow Aussies Cameron Davis, Cameron Smith and Curtis Luck, Lucas is a confident and talented young player, who is renowned for the prodigious distances he hits the ball. One to watch, as he progresses up the world rankings.