US dancer Cris Judd celebrity player for 2014 NZ Open
December 27 2013
US dancer and choreographer Cris Judd announced as celebrity player for 2014 NZ Open
The 2014 NZ Open in Queenstown received some Hollywood glamour today (December 27) with the announcement that well-known American dancer, choreographer and model Cris Judd will join the celebrity field.
Mr Judd is the latest addition to the celebrity line-up and was a hit with Kiwi audiences when he recently appeared as a judge on ‘New Zealand’s Got Talent’ alongside New Zealanders Rachel Hunter and Jason Kerrison.
The well-respected dancer and choreographer has worked with a number of A-list celebrities such as Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Usher, Jennifer Lopez and Nicole Kidman.
Mr Judd discovered his passion for golf at an early age playing at a top level in high school with a handicap of four.
He also competed on the Florida and Californian mini-tours and seriously considered playing professional golf until his dancing career took off.
Now based in Los Angeles, after a stint filming New Zealand’s Got Talent in Auckland earlier in the year, Mr Judd said he was “really looking forward to visiting Queenstown”.
"I had a great time working in New Zealand, but sadly didn't make it to Queenstown or get to play much golf. I’m very excited that I've been offered the opportunity to return and fix all that,” he said.
“I've heard Queenstown is one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand - and has some classy golf courses- I can't wait to get there.”
Hosted by The Hills and Millbrook Resort Golf Clubs in Queenstown, the four day tournament will also feature Australasian sporting celebrities - former cricketers Stephen Fleming, Ricky Ponting, Alan Border and rugby greats Jeff Wilson, Justin Marshall and Nick Farr-Jones.
Tournament Director Michael Glading said Mr Judd was not only a well-known celebrity to many Kiwis but also a pretty good golfer.
“We’re lucky to have someone of Cris’s stature playing in the celebrity field. He’ll not only attract the attention of non-golfers but people will be surprised to hear he actually plays a good game of golf,” he said.
“The celebrity field is coming together nicely and there will be more announcements in the New Year,” said Mr Glading.
Mr Judd will be travelling with his wife Kelly and new-born daughter Vivienne and is looking forward to experiencing all the region has to offer from golf to adrenalin activities, scenery and maybe the local vineyards.
“I’ll have to do some research on all the amazing things on offer as I have no idea what we’ll do yet in Queenstown. I’ve heard it’s the extreme sports capital of the world, so maybe something a little crazy like that.”
“I’m just really looking forward to being part of this great tournament,” he said.
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• facebook: New Zealand Open
• A minimum professional field of 132 players will play the first two rounds alternately at The Hills and Millbrook before the second round cut of 60 + ties
• The NZ Open Champion will be the leading player after 72 holes of stroke play
• The NZ Pro-Am Championship will run concurrently to the main tournament
• A minimum of 132 amateurs will partner with a professional and play in a best-ball format
• The top 35 pro-am teams will progress to round 3 at The Hills and the top 10 pro-am teams will progress to play in the final round.