The Wallace Development Company Manawatu Open was played on Sunday in ideal weather conditions at Manawatu Golf Club.
In the women's division it was no surprise to see Tara Raj claim yet another district title, after her great run of form in recent months. Tara's two round total of 146 (2 under par) was 3 shots clear of Levin's Brydie Hodge, whom challenged Tara through to the end. In 3rd on 154 was Zhouyi Hu, followed closely behind by Lisa Herbert on 155.
In the Men's division, it took a number of extra holes to decide a winner after Kerry Mountcastle (Masterton), Kunaal Singh (Whitford Park, Auckland), and Liam Finlayson (Feilding) all tied on 1 over par totals of 145. To make the playoff Mountcastle and Singh both had rounds of 70 & 75, and Finlayson after shooting a 5 under par 67 in the morning, had a 78 in the afternoon. Kunaal Singh was the first person to drop out of the playoff after a couple of holes, leaving Finlayson and Mountcastle to battle it out over a couple more holes before Mountcastle finally slotted a birdie putt, applying pressure on Finlayson to hole a short birdie putt which he missed.
This was the second straight year that Mountcastle had taken out the title. It was great to see him back to defend after a long period of international golf, where he played for NZ at the prestigious Eisenhower Trophy world teams champs, and the Asia Pacific Amateur in Singapore. New Zealand narrowly missed winning this years Eisenhower.
Other players to feature well in the mens Manawatu Open included Foxton's Anthony Ilton-Maher in 4th place 2 shots back on 147, followed by Regan McConaghty and Hamilton's Chris Charlton in equal 5th on 148.
This was the final event on the district OOM with the winners of that to be announced shortly.