The Joe Kells Memorial and PN Classic was held yesterday at Palmerston North Golf Club on one of the warmest Manawatu days of the summer. This became very much a test of fitness, hydration and concentration over the 36 hole strokeplay format. 80 players in total took part in the event which is on both the local OOM and NZ OOM
In the men's Joe Kells Memorial event, new Palmerston North member, Sam Nichols, showed everyone that he will be a great addition to the district with a convincing 7 shot victory, firing rounds of 68 and 70. Nichols has formally represented Tasman at Toro, and has now moved to Palmerston North to work in the Palmerston North Golf Club Pro Shop, alongside his former Tasman team mate, Hamish Campbell, whom has recently completed his professional coaching qualifications. Nichols has indicated that he wants to play this year for Manawatu Wanganui, so will be a great addition to the team.
In second equal were Palmerston North team mates and regular rep players Junior Tatana and Regan Cording, both shooting 71 and 74. They were followed one further shot back by Regan McConaghty (74, 72) and Tony Chettleburgh (70, 76).
The Women's PN Classic tournament had 22 players competing, and featured a good field of local players and a few young players whom travelled from out of the district to compete. Auckland's Vivian Lu playing off a +1 handicap showed why she is a future top prospect with a 2 under par total, beating Wanganui's Tara Raj by 4 shots. Lu had a pair of 73's, while Raj fired 76 & 74. In third place was Wellington's Zhuoyi Hu (81, 75), followed by Levin's Brydie Hodge (77, 81), and Manawatu's, Mudra Lakhani (78, 81).
Next up for many of our district players is the Pennant competitions starting on Sunday 18 Feb. At the completion of the district pennant competition the Order of Merit series will continue with the Horowhenua Open now scheduled for 17 June.