PORT MORESBY, 13 NOVEMBER 2015 (POST COURIER) ---Yes, the 2016 Papua New Guinea Golf Open has been given a double twist of lemon with naming rights sponsor SP Brewery officially promoting their new brand SP Export Radler as the refreshing drink of choice for the internationally recognised event.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill also gave his blessings last night when he officially launched the newly named South Pacific Export Radler 22nd Papua New Guinea Open at the Brewkettle in Port Moresby.
The PNG Open will be staged at the Royal Port Moresby Golf Club from April 20-24, 2016.
The double blessing for the PNG golfing community could not have come at a better time with the PNG Open also graduating it status to becoming a fully sanctioned tier two PGA Tour of Australasia tournament.
That means after the PNG Open now align itself with other key tournaments on the PGA Tour alongside tournaments such as the New South Wales, Victorian and Queensland PGA Championships.
This was confirmed by the tournament director of the QLD division PGA of Australia Justin Maker as well last night.
Maker clarified that from 2016 onwards the event will also allow competitors to boost their world ranking points for the first time a swell.
A further twist came from Prime Minister O’Neill when he gave the National Government’s commitment to support the cause.
"If we take it further and become a tier one tournament, you can be assured the National Government will be further supportive as well.
"I congratulate the promotion of the PNG Open to a tier two status as it is only fitting at a time when we will be exposed to the rest of the world through the FIFA World Cup U20 soccer, the next World Cup rugby league and APEC coming to our shores," said O’Neill.
SP Brewery managing director Stan Joyce was even more prouder when announcing that the prize-money has been further boosted to AUD $160,000.
Joyce further said that the upward move will bring with it international TV and media coverage and provide the winners with extensive exemptions to other events on the Australasia Tour.
"It will also see players of more experience and indeed potentially a much broader base nominating for the 2016 event.
"While this will be the 22nd PNG Open our association with PGA Australia Queensland division has developed over the past 17 years.
"The event will now fall under the umbrella of PGA Australia head office and we look forward to an ongoing and growing relationship with them," he added.....PACNEWS