First major sports event in Christchurch since quakes

8:16 am on 1 December 2011

Christchurch is hosting its first major sporting event since the city was devastated in the February earthquake.

The New Zealand Golf Open, which began at Clearwater Resort on Thursday, is expected to bring in tens of thousands of visitors and boost the local economy by up to $20 million.

Australasian tour director Andrew Langford-Jones says having an international audience will provide a long term boost for the city.

He says millions of people around the world will be watching television coverage and see that Christchurch is back up and running.

Mr Langford-Jones says there was some earthquake damage to the course but the extra bumps have made for a more interesting game.

The first of three rounds teed off at 7.30am on Thursday.

The tournament ends on Sunday.