Taranaki professional Grant Moorhead is excited about his title defence this week in the Tahiti International Golf Open on a course where he feels right at home.
Moorhead has a great track record at The Olivier Breaud International Golf Course in Atimaono. He won there three times in succession from 1993 – 1995 before playing the PGA Canadian and PGA International Tours.
The New Zealand veteran won for a fourth time at Atimaono when he claimed the 2011 event after torrential rain caused the final round to be abandoned.
“It was great to win again,” said Moorhead, who won the NZ PGA Order of Merit in 2005 and 2008.
“It was special to win at that venue after winning there three times a long time ago and any international victory is a special one.
“I don’t know why but I feel at home at the Atimaono Golf Course. It suits my eye and it is always nice to go back to a place where youhavegood memories of winning.
“I feel really confident playing there and I played really solidly there last year to get the win.”
The 29th Tahiti International Golf Open holds an€80,000 purse and is on from July 3-6 in Papara about 40kmfromthe Tahitian capital of Papeete.
The annual Tahiti International Golf Open is a stop on the Pacific Tour organised by the Australian PGA and supported by the Polynesian Golf Federation.
Moorhead and Taihape professional Hamish Robertson dominated the 2011 event Tahiti International Open Golf Championship for 54 holes before weather denied them a chance of a head to head shootout in the final round.
Moorhead had rounds of 65, 69 and 64 for an 18 under par total of 198 from three rounds to win by two shots from Roberson who carded scores of 68, 66 and 66 for a 16 under total.
“The course was pretty wet last year and as a result it played really long. It all depends on the weather to what sort of test the course will be. If the weather is dry then the course plays hard and fast and it is totally different.”
Moorhead has not played much golf since the ask>metro Muriwai Open on the Charles Tour in May. He travelled to Fiji to play in the Fiji Open, where he finished tied 8th, and the Starwood Classic.
He expects a lot of competition in his title defence from a quality field that includes the likes of Ryan Fox, Nick Gillespie and Australians Brad McIntosh and Terry Pilkadaris.
“There are a lot of great players heading up for the event so it will take a good score to win it with some attacking golf.
“I haven’t played a lot lately but I still feel like I am playing well and it’s always nice playing on courses where you have had a good run to get back into some rhythm and form.
“There is no pressure as defending champion – it is just a matter of playing my game and hopefully that will get me into contention.”
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