Junior Tatana once again showed his golfing class by taking the first ever Palmerston North 36 Hole Open this past weekend. The event was a NZ golf Order of Merit tournament and provides a guide for form as the representative season approaches. Against a field of 80 amateurs and five PGA trainee professionals Tatana scored a three under 141 which included a six under 66 in the opening round. The new format of 18 holes per day was very popular and plans are underway for the second event next year.
The course was in very good condition despite the recent run of wet weather and the fast sloping greens had many in the field scratching their heads. After a calm and sunny day on Saturday the second day saw the wind get up and the course became very tricky in the afternoon. Only Regan Cording in the men’s division and Brydie Hodge in the ladies were able to tame par with a one under and three under round respectively on Sunday.
Tatana’s four shot lead after the first round provided enough of a buffer to go with his second round 75 for him to take the title and a $1,000 trust credit. His length off the tee and prodigious short game gave him a distinct advantage over the other players. Tyler Hodge recently returning to the amateur ranks from Levin put together two par rounds to finish second and Sam Nichols the trainee professional from Palmerston North was further shot back in third place. Anthony Sharp another professional from Wellington finished fourth at two over par.
Local Palmerston North member Ian Strickett won $1,000 in golf equipment with lowest overall nett score for the two days of 141 and closely followed by Sera Raj from Wanganui.
The lady’s divisions were a family affair with Tara Raj winning the gross with a one over total of 149 and one shot ahead of local member Zhuoyi Hu. Tara’s younger sister Sera won the best nett with 148, one shot ahead of Aseri Meikle from the Maraenui GC in Napier. Tara has just been selected to represent New Zealand at the Jack Newton tournament in Australia later in the year and we wish her all the best.
Pictures are of Junior Tatana and Ian Strickett receiving their prizes from Matt Carroll owner of major sponsor Mates Rates Insulation and Tara Raj receiving her prize from Sam Neilson the Club Captain at PNGC and Tara Raj for winning the ladies gross competition.
Norm Rapson, PNGC