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MasterCard Offers Kiwi Golfers Opportunity to Play

MasterCard Offers Young Kiwi Golfers Opportunity to Play in the MasterCard Masters Golf Tournament

MasterCard International Launches MasterCard Junior Masters Tournament

27 April 2004: For the first time, New Zealand’s best junior golfers are being offered the chance of a lifetime to play alongside professionals in the MasterCard Masters golf tournament at Huntingdale Golf Club in Australia December. This is the first prize at the upcoming MasterCard Junior Masters golf tournament launched this week across the Tasman.

The winning male player at 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 a women’s professional tournament.

The MasterCard Junior Masters tournament, taking place at the Vines Resort, Perth from 5 – 9 July, will bring together 100 of the best junior male and female golfers under 18 years of age from Australia, New Zealand, Asia and South Africa. 20 young international golfers from New Zealand, South Africa, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Japan and the Philippines will join the Australian contingent.

The competing golfers will be chosen by their local golf associations, state junior foundations and women’s golf associations, assuring the tournament will have the highest ranked junior players from each state.

Wayne Smith, former Australian golf professional and developer of the concept, explains that the MasterCard Junior Masters tournament will be run with the support of tournament director Phil Cutt, Women’s Golf Western Australia, the West Australian Golf Association and the Graham Marsh Junior Golf Foundation. The junior tournament also has the support of the Department of Sport and Recreation in W.A., the Australian Sports Foundation and a number of professional players including Craig Parry, Stephen Leaney, Brett Rumford, Michael Long, Shani Waugh, Jarrod Moseley and Nick O’Hern.

MasterCard Junior Masters tournament Chairman Wayne Smith said: “Professional encouragement and financial support is essential to the development of any junior golfer. For those that aspire to becoming a professional, MasterCard is providing a unique opportunity. MasterCard’s sponsorship of the tournament and provision of the MasterCard Masters exemption enables us to develop a tournament that offers young golfers from all over Australia and indeed, the world, an amazing opportunity to play in a professional tournament at a young age.

“Having grown up playing junior golf in WA and having children who are golfers, I recognise firsthand the need for support in order to develop and nurture talent. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our supporters and partners including MasterCard International, the Vines Resort, Bob Touhy and Associates and the professional players who have extended their support.”

Natalie Lockwood, vice president, Marketing, MasterCard International, said: “We believe that the support and development of young golfing talent is as important as supporting today’s professionals. MasterCard is delighted to be able to offer a young golfer an exemption to the MasterCard Masters which will no doubt be a very rewarding experience for them. We hope that the MasterCard Junior Masters will go on to become an annual event to showcase our young golfers and give them an opportunity to play and compete against today’s golfing professionals.

“At MasterCard we are very pleased with our corporate sponsorship and are proud of our partnership with the golfing community, both internationally and in Australia and New Zealand. Our involvement with the MasterCard Masters, the Australian Women’s Open, the Australian Open and golfers Adam Scott and Gareth Paddison has enabled us to support Championship golf. We are now delighted to extend our support to include the young golfing community who are the professionals of tomorrow,” Ms Lockwood continued.

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