A very strong continegent of district players tee it up beside the professionals at Tauranga on Wednesday in the Carrus Tauranga Open, part of the 2012 Charles Tour.
Josh Munn became the fourth amateur to win on the Charles Tour in 2011 at the Muriwai Open and it would be no surprise if he or another district player lifts the trophy come Sunday evening. Munn has recently returned from a 17th placing at the Austrian Amateur after a week with Michael Campbell in Spain. He is on a hot streak following a tournament record score when winning the BOP Open in August which he followed up with a second placing at the North Harbour Strokeply a fortnight later. Tyler Hodge has moved to 5th in the national rankings after an amazing few months which saw him win four events in a row and six of his last eight. Victories in both the NZ and Australian Age Group Championships, two victories in MWG OOM events, NZ OOM victories at the Waikato Winter Strokeplay and Kapi Tareha coupled with the experience gained from a recent 17th position at Royal Troon in Scotland will mean he is serious contender for the title. Fresh of his maiden 72 hole victory at the Wellington Strokeplay, Lachie McDonald will be full of confidence and his record of low scoring will help him at Tauranga which gives up more birdies than any other Charles Tour venue. Joing these players will be Trent Munn, also fresh off a Wanganui Open victory, Malcolm Wells, Alan Hyatt (pro) and Tyler Lock. Emma Clayton is the sole women's player from the district and with the top three NZ players away at the Espirito Santos in Turkey, she should finish high on the leaderboard and may even scare a few if things go her way.