After a long layoff due to injury Levin's Tyler Hodge is quickly returning to form after a very solid showing at the highly ranked NZ Order of Merit event, the Waikato Winter Strokeplay played at Lochiel, Hamilton at the weekend. Hodge had rounds of 70, 73, 68 & 68 to finish 7 shots back from a resurgent Kadin Neho. Neho who claimed the NZ Amateur title at Manawatu in 2013, had been through a form slump, but is now proving that he is still a force at national level. He shot 65's in rounds 2 and 4 to take command of the event. In second place was New Plymouth's Brad Haywood.
Hodge should gain confidence from this performance, after missing much of the national event year while recovering from surgery earlier on in the year. He chose to compete in the Waikato Winter Strokeplay event over his home 36 hole open, due to the ranking of the event on the national Order of Merit - a decision which paid off. Hodge will receive points on the local order of merit as a result of his placing.
Also at the Waikato strokeplay event was Marton's Lachie McDonald, an event he won the event in 2013, and returned to try and defend that title. McDonald had a solid event, but finished back in 13th place after rounds of 70, 74, 74 & 73.
Both Hodge and McDonald have been selected to represent Manawatu Wanganui against Wellington to be played at Levin in on August 10th.