Wellington amateur Te Rongopai Clay has claimed her first national title by winning the New Zealand Women’s Age Group Championship at the Mangawhai Golf Club.

The Titahi Bay golfer carded a three over par 75 to win by two shots from her good friend and Wellington team-mate Julianne Alvarez (Manor Park) who closed with a four over par 76.

Clay made two bogeys in the final three holes but it didn’t matter as she was comfortably in front to secure the biggest win of her young career.

Meanwhile Alvarez will rue her double bogey on the par 5 12ththat saw her lose touch with her Wellington team-mate.

North Shore golfer Lita Guo finished in third place, five shots back from Clay.

The big-hitting pint-sized Clay was pleased to win her first national title.

“This means heaps to me,” said the 17-year-old.

“This is a great way for me to repay all the people who have helped me out over the years and believed in me. This just shows that when I believe in myself that I can play really well. So yeah, this is a special win and I am going to enjoy it.

Clay, who believed her composure was the key to her win, said it was unusual competing alongside her good friend Alvarez.

“It was weird. We are normally encouraging each other and telling one another to play better but today we were rivals.

“We’d talk to each other but when we arrived at our balls it was back to playing. It didn’t feel that different but a bit more competitive.”

Clay hopes that this win is a catalyst for her game going forward.

“This will really help my confidence I think. I hope I can carry this form and self-belief into bigger events.”



    1 Clarke, Dale 96.00
    2 Curnow, Brent 48.00
    2 Millington, Douglas 48.00
    4 Cormack, Matthew 25.92
    4 Wilson, Mike 25.92

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