PM sniffs around golf pro-am in Queenstown

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Prime Minister John Key just can’t stay away from Queenstown.

Although his entry in the Arrowtown-based New Zealand Open golf tournament hasn’t been confirmed, he’s scheduled to be in the Wakatipu during the tournament at the end of this month.

The Chamber of Commerce Queenstown is promoting Key as guest speaker for a business luncheon it’s hosting on February 28, the day after the tournament starts.

That morning he and the Deputy Prime Minister and local MP Bill English are also speaking at a National Party breakfast.

Key played in the pro-am of last year’s NZ PGA Championships at The Hills and is a likely contender in the NZ Open pro-am from February 27 till March 2, which is also being played at Millbrook.

The Government is again a major supporter of the tournament through a $900,000 contribution from its Major Events Fund.

Meanwhile, NZ Open organisers have confirmed big-hitting Aussie professional Scott Hend is joining the tournament.

The successful Asian Tour and former US PGA Tour player, ranked 139 in the world, has recorded distances of more than 400m off the tee.