New Zealand golf has confirmed the New Zealand Open will be part of the U.S PGA's second tier Nationwide tour and not aligned with the European Tour as it has for the past three years.
The Open will be one of three tournaments in Australasia co-sanctioned by the Nationwide tour, the others being the Moonah Classic near Melbourne and the New Zealand PGA championship at Clearwater in Christchurch.
The New Zealand events will carry a prize purse of over a million dollars and New Zealand Golf CEO Bill MacGowan says while that's a reduction on previous Opens he believes the move from Europe to the United States will benefit the game.
MacGowan says the link with the European Tour was only on year to year basis where the deal with the Nationwide tour is for two years with a possibility of extending it to four.
The New Zealand Open will be held at the Hills in Arrowtown from the 12th to the 15th of March.