Tyler Hodge is the first Kiwi golfer to win both the Australian Age Group and New Zealand Age Group titles in the same year.

The Manawatu – Wanganui amateur completed the rare double when carded an even par 72 to win the NZ Age Group title today by one shot from Chris Charlton (Otumoetai) at the Waipu Golf Club.

It is believed that no New Zealand golfer has won both titles in the same year. Saali Herewini came the closest when he won the 1992 Australian Junior after winning the 1991 New Zealand Junior title. Hodge joined Herewini as the only New Zealand players who have won both championships.

He was excited to achieve a special milestone.

“It was very cool, my goal for this week was to finish in the top three but I definitely wanted the double so to get it done is really pleasing,” said the 17-year-old from the Levin Golf Club.

Hodge trailed Charlton in the final three holes but showed the value of his experience with three straight pars to the Bay of Plenty player’s bogeys on 16 and 18 to secure the win.

“It was a bit of a struggle out there. Chris played extremely well and put the pressure on and our whole group didn’t seem to make any putts. We just battled it out in the wind really.”

Sanjay Modgill (New Plymouth) shot a two over par 74 to finish in third place and Ryan Chisnall (Greenacres) claimed fourth place after also shooting 74.

Hodge was surprised by the effort of Charlton who he had never heard of before the tournament.

“I had to have someone point him out to me on the practice area. He did extremely well for his first time in the last group. Well done to him.

“I just thought to myself if I par out I should at least have a chance – even at a playoff – the goal was just to par out and I am happy I managed to do that.

Hodge said he would leave the northern links of Waipu with great memories.

“I had never been here before but I love it now. The greens are in perfect condition, one of the best I have ever played on really. I’d love to come back and play here.”




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