3 Oct 2017

NZ Open set for date change?

5:53 am on 3 October 2017

The New Zealand Women's Golf Open could well move to February next year - but only after organisers get the all-clear from sponsors.

A frustrated Lydia Ko at the weather disrupted NZ Women's Open

A frustrated Lydia Ko at the weather disrupted NZ Women's Open Photo: Photosport

Heavy rain and gale-force winds sullied the final round of this year's Windross Farm event, the first on Kiwi soil to be sanctioned by the LPGA.

Canadian Brooke Henderson ultimately won by five strokes yesterday.

The LPGA, hoping to take advantage of more pleasant Auckland conditions, would like to couple the event with the Australian Open in February.

Tournament director Michael Goldstein admitted that was a possibility - but only after he and the Open's organisers chat with their locked-in sponsors.

That would take place over the next eight weeks.

"From our perspective, it's a case of working with all our stakeholders to understand what's going to work for them," Goldstein said.

"We've got long-term contracts with a lot of our partners.

"We'll have the debrief first and then see what happens."

As a result of Sunday's foul weather, the Open final round went into a fifth day, with Henderson crowned champion at around 12.30pm on Monday.

Some players were thought to be disgruntled by the late scheduling change, but Goldstein felt the LPGA's decision to play a full 72 holes had paid off.

It maintained the integrity of the tournament, he said.

"Hopefully what we've done over the past 24 hours really displays our attitude to the event: we want it to be here a long time," Goldstein said.

"We needed to do what we needed to do to show this was a huge championship for New Zealand - we wanted it to finish in the right way."

Goldstein also admitted that prolonging the tournament by a day would affect the Open's bottom line, but not to an enormous extent.