THREE-PEAT FOR CLARKE AT THE NEW ZEALAND MID-AMATEUR

13/01/2020

Dale Clarke (Mt Maunganui) has done it - three in a row as the New Zealand Mid-Amateur Champion, completed yesterday at the Omanu Golf Course.

With blistering scores Clarke was the one to beat when he set the tone with an opening round of 67 on Friday. The round included birdies on the 10th, with a further birdie on the 13th making the turn at two-under par. He'd make three more birdies on the 1st, 5th and 6th  giving Clarke a handy 3-shot lead going into the second round. 

Tough and windy conditions met the players on Saturday, and Clarke continued his hot form with a round of 70 which meant he'd start the final round today with a three-shot lead. He'd go even-par through the opening four holes with some precision iron play. He'd turn up the heat and have one hand on the trophy with a run of one-putts and an enviable birdie run from the 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th. Clarke’s final score yesterday with two more birdies on the back nine, was an impressive 66, a total of 203 to be 13-under the card. This was an improvement of two shots over his 2019 total of 205.

A precision player that has been an anchor in Northland’s Representative teams, the question is, who will Clarke play for now with his recent move to the Bay of Plenty?

There were some strong challenges from the exceptionally talented field. With final scores of 213, Douglas Millington (Ngaruawahia) and Brent Curnow (Mt Maunganui) shared second place, with third place awarded to Matthew Cormack (Remuera) and Mike Wilson (Hastings), two shots back on 215. Curnow, a local Bay-player, was a past winner, back in 2017. Four shots back, was Richard Wright (Matamata) on 219.

Line honours for the women was another Bay of Plenty representative, Diana Syer (Wairakei), who was competing in her first Mid-Amateur.

Syer’s win was a credible five shot shots over Vaha Fapiano (North Shore). Syer didn’t have it all her own way with an opening round of 78, where Fapiano opened with 75 and Heather Keefe (Springfield) with a 74. Syer took charge on Saturday with a one-under par round of 71, to head into yesterday's final with a one shot lead over Fapiano.

The consistent Harbour player couldn’t match the pace today posting a 78, to Syer’s two-over 74. Syer’s three scores were 78, 71 and 74, Fapiano 75, 75 and 78.

The women’s field was one of the strongest collection of senior players, many of whom were chasing selection for the coming Senior Women’s Trans-Tasman Challenge. Brigit Holford (RAGGC), posting one of the best rounds of the day on Saturday with even par, shared third place with Keefe. Holford shot rounds of 79, 72 and 80, Keefe 74, 81 and a 76 today.

Back a further two places was Sian Stevenson (Cambridge) with rounds of 82, 78 and 73, sharing 4th equal place with Riverside’s Tracey McCarten, 81, 74 and 78.

While the tournament recognises the best man and woman aged 30 plus, with the awarding of the Neil Woodbury Cup and the Women’s Golf Trust Shield respectfully for the lowest scores, prizes are also awarded for best nett and best stableford.

Best nett posted for the men was won by Omanu’s Hayden White, the women, Tracey McCarten (Riverside). Best stableford for the men and women were both local Omanu members, Royden Trask and Karen Waerea. Consolation prizes were also awarded to Bryan Toohill (North Shore), Andrew Rye (Cambridge), and Jill Hall (Rangitikei).

The 2020 tournament field included players from Australia, Canada, New Caledonia, Fiji, USA and China in addition to the strong New Zealand contingent, many of whom are past or current district representatives.

PaR nz Golfing Holidays who manage the tournament on behalf of New Zealand Golf, announced that the 2021 tournament will be hosted by Shandon Golf Club in Wellington details of which will be advised in due course.
 

    OOM LEADERBOARD

    RANK PLAYER SCORE
    1 Lee, Jang Hyun 141.71
    2 Smail, Charlie 70.86
    3 Jones, Samuel 70.29
    4 Kobori, Kazuma 57.14
    4 Zheng, Jimmy 57.14
    RANK PLAYER SCORE
    1 Son, Yeonsoo 86.85
    2 Chung, Darae 73.47
    3 Kang, Sumin 69.60
    4 Im, Amy 59.69
    5 Raj, Tara 54.49