New Zealand Open cancelled following COVID crackdown

The signs didn’t look good after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently cancelled her own wedding amid the reintroduction of strict COVID restrictions.

And now those fears have been confirmed with the New Zealand Open’s Instagram feed posting news of the event’s cancellation.

Brad Kennedy Brad Kennedy with the 2020 NZ Open trophy (Credit: PhotoSport NZ)

“We have done everything within our power to make this event happen. However, with the current government restrictions in place, running an event that includes 250 players, 250 caddies, 500 volunteers, nearly 100 tournament staff and officials, plus numerous contractors, as well of course spectators, is just not possible,” said New Zealand Open Chairman John Hart.

“After announcing in December that the New Zealand Open would proceed, including having direct entry into the prestigious 150th Open Championship at St Andrews for the leading three players, we are devastated to have now come to this decision.”

“We remain fully committed to the tournament and the Queenstown region and we are now setting our sights on holding the 102nd New Zealand Open in 2023,” said Hart.

The NZ PGA Championship, which is set to take place from 7th-10th April, has yet to make any offical announcement. However, with just two months to go before its scheduled start date, it would seem unlikely tournament organisers would take the chance on hosting the event.

Brad Kennedy will enjoy the title of defending champion for another year having secured his second NZ Open trophy over future European Tour winner, Lucas Herbert, when the tournament was last played in March 2020.

Kennedy fired a final round of 8-under 63 for a two-stroke winning margin.