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SBD Global/October 11, 2012/Events and AttractionsPrint All
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said that a funding injection by the government of NZ$650,000 ($531,000) for the NZ PGA Championship next year is "important to promote New Zealand on the world stage," according to the APNZ. At a launch for next year's event, PGA Championship Chair John Hart said that the support of sponsors "had led to an increase in prize money" from NZ$500,000 to NZ$600,000 ($409,000 to $490,000) for the event. Next year's Championship will also see English cricketing celebrities Ian Botham and Tony Greig tee-off in the pro-am. The increased prize money "elevates the tournament to a tier-one status" on the PGA Tour of Australasia and is expected to help attract "an even stronger international line-up" of golfers (APNZ, 10/11).
Anyone who did not believe A-League club Sydney FC "was in the grip" of Alessandro Del Piero mania needed only to show up at the Sky Blues' training at Allianz Stadium on Thursday, according to Peter Kogoy of the THE AUSTRALIAN. Italian reporters had flown in from Milan, in addition to the local media, to watch the former Juventus playmaker's final open training session before his Saturday night home debut against the Newcastle Jets at Allianz Stadium. The excitement leading up to the match is so large that Sky Blues management is "even tipping the record regular-season crowd of 33,458 set against Melbourne Victory in Jan. '08 will be smashed." Coach Ian Crook called on his players to "relish the opportunity and occasion." Cook said, "It will be a great atmosphere with Alessandro's first home game. I'd rather be playing in front of 30,000 with some expectations on us instead of 3,000 with no expectations" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/12).