Golf News


This Sunday sees the return of the Westown Classic to the Taranaki golf calendar albeit with a change of format. Last year’s event was cancelled because of the low number of entries and the tournament organisers at Westown Golf Club announced they would review the format of the tournament and make a decision on whether to continue with the event. The club have decided to continue with the event, but it will now be played over 36-holes on one day rather than 72-holes over 2 days. The shorter format may prove to be more popular with golfers in the province and the change is continued evidence of the changing face of golf across the world and the need for clubs to adapt accordingly. The Westown Classic is also one of the events in the Crowded House Taranaki Tour and will undoubtedly attract players vying for top 8 placing in the Gross and Net Orders of Merit.


New Plymouth professional Steven Heyes had his best finish this year when he finished 3rd at the Recreational Services Eketahuna - Masterton Pro-am last month. Heyes 68 -66 -134 was 8 under par 2 shots behind the eventual winner Nick Gillespie 68-64-132 in the $15,000 event. Fellow New Plymouth pros Grant Moorhead 67-71-138 and Dominic Barson 69-73-142 finished 9th and 27th respectively. Brad Hayward who did not play in the Recreational services Pro-Am, was right in contention when he shot a 7 under 65 to finish in a 4 way tie for 2nd  a shot behind the winner Sam An at the $10,000 Spark Business Martinborough Pro am a couple of days earlier.


The 1st round of the revamped Men’s Handicap Pennant got under way last Sunday with both sections played in hot conditions, which may have led to some competitors glad they only had 18 holes to complete. In the Taranaki Wide section played at Te Ngutu, defending champions Eltham got off to a winning start overcoming Opunake 4-2. Last year’s beaten finalists Manaia did not fare so well losing 4-2 to home side Te Ngutu 2. The other home team Te Ngutu 2 suffered a surprise defeat to Patea 3½-2½. Waverley also managed a 3½-2½ victory over Stratford. Inglewood2 were well beaten by Pungarehu 4½-1½ although the margin of victory could have been a lot tighter with 4 of the 6 matches going to the 18th-hole. Hawera announced their return to the handicap pennant competition with a 5-1 win over the hapless Fitzroy 2. The Hawera team included club stalwart Don Cameron who first played pennant 50 years ago in the 1960’s.


In the North Taranaki section 2 divisions of 5 teams means only 4 matches are played each round. The Manukorihi teams got off to a their usual strong start to the campaign; Manukorihi 1 beating New Plymouth 4-2 and Manukorihi 2 beating Inglewood 1 by the same score. Kaitake 2 managed to hang on to beat Westown 3½-2½. Tumahu proved too strong for Fitzroy 1winning 4-2. One of the noticeable aspects of last week’s matches was the strong presence of Taranaki’s leading golfers representing their teams. These Included Taranaki 2015 representatives, Tim White, Brook Gray, Joseph Doyle, Ethan Jones, Kerry Otene, Aarun Langton and Brian Rowland. Hopefully these players will continue to be available to play for their clubs as it certainly helps to lift the quality of play and may encourage some others to make themselves available to play for the club, in what remains Taranaki’s Men’s premier inter-club competition. Handicap Pennant 1st round results: North Taranaki Section Kaitake GC Sunday 7th Feb 2016. Division One: Kaitake 2 (3½) v Westown (2½) G Jans bt M Honeyfield 3/2, W Gray lost to K Sykes 4/3, R Gooch bt J Mason 5/3, C Jordan bt D Hikaka 3/1, D Hanscombe – B Keegan A/S, R Cloke lost to J Newland 2 down. Manukorihi 1 (4) v New Plymouth (2) A Hotter bt S Crowe 2up, R Hamill bt T Johnson 5/4 ,D Lewis lost to D Marshall 6/4, K Southee bt P Stark 3/2, I Sarten bt J Baldwin 6/5, B Bellamy lost to M Burmester 4/2. Waitara – Bye Division Two: Tumahu (4) v Fitzroy 1 (2). D Gilbert bt J Earley 4/3, K Dodunski bt J Rosa 4/3, J Linn lost to D Joubert 5/4, P Quintus bt C Diamond 4/3, J Doyle bt A Nui 3/1, B Gray lost to B Rowland 4/3.  Inglewood 1 (2) v Manukorihi 2 (4).M Crofskey lost to K Voce 4/3, C Van Kooten lost to A Hodgkinson 3/2, T Terry bt R Broadmore 5/4, C Smith bt K De Villiers 5/4, S Otene lost to N Lopusiewicz 2down, K Joseph lost to P Rauputu 2down. Kaitake 1 – Bye.  Taranaki Wide Section Te Ngutu GC Division One: Eltham (4) v Opunake (2) B Bland lost to W Davey 1 down, Z Commerer bt M Tuitupou 5/4, J Bishop lost to C Roach 6/4, R Joll bt J Deegan 6/5, K Boland bt B Sinclair 3/2, P Hawkes bt A Langton 3/2. Patea (3½) v Te Ngutu 1 (2½) S Petricevich lost to M Cleaver 5/4, G Rutten – A Kemp A/S, M Hawken bt P Bishop 2up, C Hori bt M West 1up, N Cameron lost to C Hughes 2down, A Hughes bt J Boyce 2/1. Hawera (5) v Fitzroy 2 (1), G Ragg bt W Mehrtens 1up, D Cameron bt T Neil 3/1, M Walker bt B Neil 2up, A Ropiha bt N Northam 2up, D Quintus lost to D Reid 2down, T White bt N Keenan 8/6. Division Two: Waverley (3½) v Stratford (2½), R Amon bt M McDonald 3/2, W Pope lost to J Cusdin 6/5, N Alexander lost to V Jones 4/2, A James bt L Bell 2/1, D Singh bt S Ngataierua 4/3, J Wolfe – A Cawley A/S, Pungarehu (4½) v Inglewood 2 (1½). R Van Der Fits bt P Soffe 2up, L Adamson bt J Christini 3/1, A Crowley bt M Dew 2up, B Barrett bt B Jackson 1up, J Gilligan lost to T Schrider 2down, D Simpson – K Otene A/S. Manaia (2) v Te Ngutu 2 (4) , J Rae lost to B Walsh 3/2, S Kalin lost to M Berry 5/3, R Le Fleming bt R Furness 3/1, M Miritana lost to J Lovell 1 down, A Gibson bt C Porter 2up, E Jones lost to B Prestidge 4/3


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