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Expol Pro-Am tournament February 13-14 2021
The Expol Pro-Am organizing committee chaired by John Eliott was overwhelmed with the plaudits received following the inaugural Expol Pro-Am tournament held at Waihi in 2020. The NZ Professional Golfers Association does not offer tournaments lightly, and the fact that Waihi was approached to hold it again in February 2021 is a credit to the committee’s expertise and attention to detail, and a huge boost to the Club’s reputation and mana.
As with any tournament, sponsorship is a vital component of its success, and nationwide sponsors Expol, Cranium Signage, Clark Equipment, Gas NZ, Golf Warehouse, Craigs Investment Partners, and Peter Hikaka Investigations ensured a wonderful prize table again this year, and the Club is most grateful for the continued generous sponsorship and support provided by these enterprises. Taste buds were tickled on both days by sponsors Expol and Clark Equipment with their well-stocked food stations on the 1st and 13th holes, and with a light-snack stop on the 6th hole, no one suffered from starvation or dehydration.
On Saturday after the golfers were welcomed they assembled beside the first tee, where Club member Ken Purcell was invited to hit the first ball of the tournament, after first being presented with an Expol shirt and golf ball by last year’s opener, Bob Hoggard. Typically it was a great shot by this popular veteran, much to his relief and everyone’s delight. Players then dispersed to their respective tees for the shotgun start on the beautifully presented course, described later by PGA General Manager Dominic Sainsbury as “immaculate”, and endorsed by Auckland professional Tae Koh who broke the course record with 61 off the stick, and finishing the tournament 17 shots under par.
The list of Professionals was impressive, including Sam An, Harry Bateman, Mark Brown, Hamish Campbell, Josh Geary, Andrew Gurney, Sam Hale, Ben Harwood, Laura Hoskin, Mark Hutson, Dongwoo Kang, Momoko Kobori, Tae Koh, Mason Lee, Richard Lee, Nick Loach, Jordan Loof, Trevor Marshall, Lachie McDonald, Keiran Muir, Trent Munn, Woonchul Na, Gareth Paddison, Jackson Price, Jerry Ren, Dominic Sainsbury, Kunaal Singh, Joshua Rookes, Gill Taylor, Luke Toomey, Johnny Tynan, and Fraser Wilkin.
Each team of three amateurs was headed by a professional, playing a stableford competition for combined stableford over 36 holes, with the best three of four scores on each hole to count. Prizes were awarded for the Maureen Murray Memorial Trophy for the best individual stableford over the field, and professional golfers competed for the best gross score in the tournament. Prizes were awarded for the Longest drive, Nearest the Pin on the par three holes, and would have been awarded for a Hole in One on the 6th hole had it happened.
Well-known radio personality Peter Williams, with witty commentary compered the post golf activities including exhibitions in putting, chipping and bunker play by professionals Mark Brown, Richard Lee and Harry Bateman who made these difficult shots look so easy. Then followed the most challenging competition on the par three eighth hole, in which players whose tee shots during their first 18 holes had landed within a defined area on the green qualifying them to be in a shootout for nearest the pin at the end of the day. Naturally this created much interest as a $1000 prize was at stake. With only 16 players in the running, it was a tense and exciting event, finally won by stunned Waihi player Mick Wilson, using a 6 iron. Following these festivities, players enjoyed a spit-roast meal outside in the late afternoon sun, whilst being entertained by toe-tapping Katikatz Dixie Band.
At the prize-giving function NZPGA Dominic Sainsbury congratulated the organizing committee on a successful and fun tournament, and awarded prizes to the professional players. Terry Mischefski, of major sponsor Expol thanked the players for their participation in the tournament and awarded all other prizes.
Results—Team winners: DDJ & One: Mark Hutson (Pro), Denis Borman, David Morris, Jaco Wetzel 243 points.
Runners Up—Woodland Wanderers: Kunaal Singh (Pro), Jenny Wilson, Mick Wilson, Vivienne Lilley 242;
True Triers: Trent Munn (Pro), Brian Robinson, Jim Evans, Craig Edlin 236 ; PMS: Jackson Price (Pro), Shoneen Dunning, Phillipa Harvey, Michelle Libby 235; Craigs: Jordan Loof (Pro), Aaron Moores, Andrew Burn, Bryan Burke 235; Expol Swingers: Tae Koh (Pro), Jen Sae Thung, Leighton Greentree, Frank Soli 235; Maranui: Josh Geary (Pro), Gary Dunning, Colin Dunning, Ted Murray 234; Typical Auks: Mason Lee (Pro), Frank van Hattum, Glen Ross, Rob Hill; Hotel California: Hamish Campbell (Pro), Allan Witani, Brian McPhail, Tim Parish 229; Clark Equipment: Momoko Kobori (Pro), Kay Buckeridge, Glenn Gallagher, Dean Tetley 228; All in with a Pro: Sam An (Pro), Stuart Yarndley, Dean Scott, Klara Ingle 228; Wax Head: Mark Brown (Pro), Bruce Couper, Cameron Couper, Don Couper 228; Island View Girls: Woonchul Na (Pro), Marine Milicich, Jackie Robson, Nicky Parker 227; The Murrays: Gareth Paddison (Pro), David Murray, Toni Murray, Murray Fraser 226; Island View Boys: Fraser Wilkins (Pro), Sam Gurney, Grant Robson, Dominic Milicich 223; Expol 3rd Dimension: Richard Lee (Pro) Terry Mischefski, Wayne Watson, Mark Mischefski 222; Trev’s Team: Trevor Marshall (Pro), Sharlene Stewart, Ken Purcell, John Giffney 221;
Waitemata 2: Keiran Muir (Pro), Grant Hayward, Gary McAlister, Mike Thomson 220; Woodview Construction: Taylor Gill (Pro), Maurice Gaire, Richard Vokes, Lawrence Joseph 220; Superior Chunky: Luke Toomey (Pro), John Taylor, Ron Arthur, Kelly Exelby 219.
Expol Pro-Am Professional gross winner: Tae Koh 127.
Maureen Murray Memorial Trophy: (best tournament amateur stableford score): Shoneen Dunning 74 points.
Runners up: Craig Edlin 74; Andrew Burn 72; Murray Fraser70; Malcolm Coldicutt 70; Gary Sales 70.
Day one Nearest the Pin on 6—Pro: Kieran Muir. Senior men: Colin Dunning. Junior men: Andrew Burn
Women : Jen Sae Thung.
Day one Nearest the Pin on 15— Pro: Harry Bateman. Senior men: Jaco Wentzel. Junior men: Lew Sayer.
Women: Phillipa Harvey
Day two Nearest the pin on 6—Pro: Joshua Rooks. Senior men: Grant Hayward. Junior Men: Andrew Burn.
Women: Kay Buckeridge.
Day two Nearest the pin on 8—Pro: Mark Hutson. Senior men: Lawrence Joseph. Junior Men: Mick Wilson.
Women : Jen Sae Thung.
Day two Nearest the pin on 15—Pro: Jackson Price. Senior men: Malcolm Coldicutt. Junior Men: LaurieHewitt Women: Sharlene Stewart.
Nearest the pin on 13 over two days for Bar Fridge sponsored by Clark Equipment Amateurs only over three divisions: Alan Smith (Whangamata) 1.99 m. Runner up: Tim Parish 2.17m.
Day one Shootout on 8: Mick Wilson
Day one Longest Drive—Pro: Mason Lee. Senior Men: Jaco Wentzel. Junior Men: David Croker. Women: Jackie Robson
Day two Longest Drive—Pro: Jordan Loof. Senior Men: Alan Smith. Junior Men: Chris Mitchell. Women: Kay Buckeridge.