02 May 2005
The best junior golfers from New Zealand are being offered the chance of a lifetime to play alongside the professionals in the MasterCard Masters golf tournament at Huntingdale Golf Club in December.
This is the first prize at the upcoming MasterCard Junior Masters golf tournament which returns to the Vines Resort, Perth , following the success of the inaugural event last year. This year's tournament will take place from 2 - 6 May.
The winning male player from the MasterCard Junior Masters will receive an exemption from MasterCard to play in the MasterCard Masters and the winning female player will receive an exemption to play in the ANZ Ladies' Masters.
Two of the best young golfers from New Zealand will compete against the cream of Australian and international talent from Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, the Philippines and South Africa .
Representing the New Zealand team are 15 year old Samuel Shin and 17 year old Stephanie Slaivich, both from Wellington .
These young hopefuls will face a field of impressive talent including Ashleigh Simon from South Africa, who at the tender age of fifteen already holds titles to the 2004 South African Open (a professional event) and the 2004 Junior World Championship.
Ashleigh Simon will face strong competition from 17 year old Mi Sun Cho from Victoria, who as last year's female winner of the MasterCard Junior Masters, returns to defend her title. Mi Sun proved her credentials at the 2005 ANZ Ladies Masters in February, finishing even par after 72 holes, in 48 th place in a field of 75 professionals.
The founder of the tournament and MasterCard Junior Masters Chairman Wayne Smith is pleased with the quality of entrants in this year's competition. He said: "We are proud to have secured the very best junior golfers from Australia and overseas to compete at the MasterCard Junior Masters. These sports men and women are the golf superstars of tomorrow and we look forward to a thrilling competition as they battle it out for a chance to play in a professional tournament."
Ben Pisani, last year's male winner of the MasterCard Junior Masters experienced first-hand, the opportunities that the tournament can open up. He said: "Winning the Junior Masters title gave me the belief that I can truly become a professional golfer one day. It was fantastic to play with and meet my golfing heroes at the MasterCard Masters including Adam Scott who gave me some great tips on getting ahead with my golfing career".
Natalie Lockwood, Vice President, Marketing, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA) , MasterCard International said: "MasterCard has a proud history of supporting golf both in Australia and internationally, through our corporate sponsorship of the MasterCard Masters, PGA Tour of Australasia and golfers Adam Scott, Brett Rumford and Gareth Paddison".
"Nurturing young golfers is essential to ensure the future success of the game and w e are proud that the MasterCard Junior Masters is able to give these talented players an opportunity to play against and be inspired by today's golfing professionals. I would like to wish each MasterCard Junior Masters participant the best of luck and am certain an exciting tournament is in store for all of us," Ms Lockwood continued.
The competing golfers have been invited to play and were chosen by their state golf associations, state junior foundations and women's golf associations, assuring the tournament will have the highest ranked junior players from each state.