St. Peter’s School has a slim advantage heading into the final round of the New Zealand Secondary Schools Final at the Taupo Golf Club.

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The Waikato school handled the bitterly cold and wet conditions the best this morning at the Tauhara Golf Course as it opened with a one-under par team total of 215 to lead by two strokes from North Harbour’s Massey High School.

St Peter’s was the most consistent team with Charlie Smail, son of New Zealand professional David Smail, and Mathew Morris opening with rounds of 71. Sam Vincent (73) added the third counting score in the format where the best three of four scores tally towards to the team total.

St. Peter’s, who is coached by Simon Thomas and Reon Sayer, is hoping to win the title for the first time since 2011, where it won at the Tauranga Golf Club by five strokes, and only the second time in the event’s history which dates back to 1984.

Canterbury representative St Bedes College, led superbly by Connell Kilpatrick who carded the round of the day so far, a four-under par 68, is a further two shots back in third place.

While two-time defending champion Whangarei Boys High School will need to deliver a huge comeback in the second round this afternoon to hold onto the trophy.

The Northland team, who is looking to emulate the three-peat of Rotorua Boys (1999 – 2001), has got off to a slow start and is six shots back from St Peters heading into the final 18 holes.

Kilpatrick, from the Russley Golf Club, is the leading individual by three shots from five guys Tadhg Campbell (Muriwai), Andrew Drummond (Greenacres) Smail (Walton), Morris (Hamilton) Hamilton and Christian Nitsche (Whangarei) and one girl Celeste McLean (Manaia) who shot rounds of 71.

There is everything to play for this afternoon in Taupo as St. Peters looks to claim the coveted New Zealand Secondary Schools title for only the second time in the past 30 years.




    1 Hillier, Daniel 147.20
    2 Kobori, Kazuma 144.73
    3 Lee, Jang Hyun 132.53
    4 Brown, Luke 128.27
    5 McLean, Matthew 109.40
    1 Khoo, Caryn 170.00
    2 Dryland, Brittney 137.87
    3 Lee, Jeong Hyun 123.84
    4 Lee, Roun 100.00
    4 Lim, Carmen 100.00