2017 MercedesTrophy National Final
The 2017 MercedesTrophy New Zealand National Final was held at the award winning Millbrook Resort near Queenstown from 28-30 April, 2017. The higly competitive annual tournament presents Mercedes-Benz customers with a passion for golf, the oppourtunity to experience New Zealand's premier gold resort, courtesy of Mercedes-Benz.
An exclusive field of just 24 qualifying competitors, were each vying for the opportunity to represent New Zealand at the MercedesTrophy World Final, which will take place at the ‘birthplace of the automobile’, Stuttgart, Germany in October.
Competitors faced cool autumn conditions over the two weekend competition rounds, which were held across all three of Millbrook Resort’s championship nine-hole layouts; Remarkables, Arrow and Coronet. The courses were eachp resented in immaculate condition, and after 36 holes of tournament play, three players prevailed. Fangyi Zhao from Mercedes-Benz North Shore competed exceptionally across both tournament days to finish with an incredible 83 stableford points and claim the prestigious New Zealand national final title. Xu Han from Mercedes-Benz North Shore and Alistair Bisset from Coutts Newmarket completed the tournament with 66 points a-piece to finish second and third respectively, and will join Fangyi Zhao as Team New Zealand, at the MercedesTrophy World Final.
In addition to the prestigous overall tournament prize, the New Zealand finalists were given the opportunity to compete for a number of once-in-a-life time golfing experiences. The ‘Drive to the Major’ straightest drive competition, held on the 7th hole of the ‘Remarkables’ nine on Saturday, offered golfers the chance to win a VIP trip to the 2017 staging of ‘The Open Championship’, and tee off on the historic links at Royal Birkdale in England the day after the tournament. Joy McLaughlan from Armstrong Prestige Christchurch drove her ball to within 94cm of the line to be awarded the unrivalled, all-expenses paid experience.
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the AMG brand, Mercedes-Benz also offered golfers the chance to win a brand new Mercedes-AMG A 45 for any competitor able to achieve a hole-in-one on the designated par three hole each day. Despite excellent shot-making under pressure and some extremely close attempts, competitors were unable to register an elusive ‘ace’.
Commenting on the tournament, Ben Giffin, General Manager, Mercedes-Benz Cars New Zealand Ltd said: “Mercedes-Benz has a proud association with the great game of golf at both a professional and amateur level. The MercedesTrophy tournament presents our loyal New Zealand customers a number of exclusive once-in-a-lifetime golfing experiences, which are absolutely unrivalled by anyother amateur golf tournament. Congratulations must go to all 24 competitors for reaching the National Final, and we wish Team New Zealand the very best of luck as they represent the nation on the global stage at the MercedesTrophy World Final. I’m sure they will do us proud.”