Jannewattananond, Kho set for New Zealand Open - PGA of Australia

Jannewattananond, Kho set for New Zealand Open

The New Zealand Open presented by Sky Sport has announced that two of the Asian Tour’s most talented players will tee it up at Millbrook Resort between February 29 and March 3.

Jazz Jannewattananond from Thailand and Hong Kong’s Taichi Kho will both take to the fairways in Queenstown as part of the Asian Tour partnership. More than 40 Asian Tour players will compete at the New Zealand Open for ranking points towards the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit.

Tournament Director Michael Glading is excited to have Jannewattananond and Kho as part of the field and believes both have the goods to take the title.

“Jazz and Taichi are fantastic players and it’s great to have them come and play in the New Zealand Open. We are quite excited to have them both headline the Asian Tour field,” he said.

“Jazz has won seven times on the Asian Tour and is tied seventh for the most wins which shows his quality and ability. We’re delighted to have Jazz return after his fourth place finish at the 100th New Zealand Open back in 2019. He is one to watch for sure.

“And in the last 12 months Taichi collected huge accolades including being the first Hong Kong player to win an Asian Tour event, the first golfer from Hong Kong to play in the Open Championship, and more recently was awarded the Asian Tour Rookie of the Year. Taichi is clearly one of the most talented young players on tour.”

Newly married, Jannewattananond will be hoping to be amongst the top end of the field replicating the form that saw him come close to the New Zealand Open title back in 2019 where he claimed an outright fourth place, only three shots behind eventual winner Zach Murray.

Jannewattananond has been ranked as high as 38th in the world, earning him a place in the 2020 Masters Tournament.

“Having been to Queenstown before, I’m really looking forward to returning and this time will be extra special as I’ll be bringing my wife with me to experience one of the more beautiful places I have been to in the world,” said Jannewattananond.

“I remember Millbrook from my time there in 2019. It’s a terrific course and the views are breathtaking. Let’s hope I can make it into the winners circle as that would make for a fantastic second honeymoon.”

Kho had his breakthrough year on the Asian Tour in 2023, finishing ninth on their Order of Merit. His 2023 year was highlighted by a win at the World City Championship in only his fourth start as a professional and becoming the first player from Hong Kong to win on the Asian Tour.

A graduate of Notre Dame University in the USA, he only secured his Asian Tour card last year, and is fast becoming one of the leading players in South East Asia.

“It’s not my first time to Queenstown. I was the first alternative in 2023 and travelled down in the hope of getting to play, but didn’t get to start. Queenstown is very beautiful and was one of the most memorable places I have visited. To actually play it this year makes it even more special,” said Kho.

These two Asian Tour stars will be joined by other prominent Asian Tour players like Travis Smyth (ranked #4 in 2023), New Zealand’s own Ben Campbell (#5), Thai star Gunn Charoenkul (who ran sixth in the 2023 New Zealand Open) and American Berry Henson, who returns after a three year absence.

The 103rd New Zealand Open presented by Sky Sport will take place at Millbrook Resort in Queenstown between February 29 and March 3, 2024.

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