The 2019 HMC Horowhenua Open was held on Sunday in fine overhead conditions at Levin Golf Club. The 36 hole event attracted a decent field of players, which included most of our local rep players, a number of rep players from Wellington, and some exciting young prospects from Auckland.
The women's field had a number of players that could have taken out the title, and after the morning round Manawatu Wanganui rep, Zhuoyi Hu held a healthy 3 shot lead after firing an even par 72. However she could not continue the same form in tougher afternoon conditions, to return a 78. That opened the door for other players to jump ahead, and Lisa Herbert and Tara Raj both finished one better to be joint winners of the event. Tara Raj was declared the winner on countback for the top prize. Both Tara and Lisa had rounds of 75 & 74.
In the men's event young Royal Wellington player Paxton Jones, set the pace after a 2 under par 70 in the morning, but was closely followed by a number of players. The afternoon conditions was a bit tougher with a cold wind picking up. Jones however did enough in the afternoon with a 75 to tie for the champinship win with Levin's, Tyler Hodge (72, 73). Hodge has just has his amateur status reinstated, so this was his first event back as an amateur player. Hodge claimed the top prize by countback. In 3rd place just one shot back was Manawatu's Regan McConaghty with 74 & 72, followed a further shot back by Miramar's Sam Marsters (73, 74). The best score of the day was 69 by former NZ rep, Riki Kauika, whom is also back playing as an amateur after a brief stint a few years back as a professional. Kauika finished tied for 5th, along with Levin's Shaun Millard, Judgefords, Jayden Ford, and Liam Finlayson from Feilding.
Congratulations to everyone that competed in this years event.