Canterbury juniors showed the way in the Otago men’s golf championship at the weekend, as Hiroki Miya (Russley) won and Tom Parker (Christchurch) finished second. Miya (16) was impressive from tee to green, finishing on a par 284 for the four rounds to win the title from Parker (17) by seven shots.
The Canterbury success continued in the women’s three-round event in which Juliana Hung (Russley) finished 10 shots ahead of Annabel Evans (Otago). Hung set a course record of 72 in her first round on Saturday morning since the course has been altered for women, the sixth and 17th holes becoming par fours.
The Otago Stroke Play along with the Canterbury Stroke Play (played the weekend prior) formed a new initiative between the two districts with the House of Travel Tour rewarding the combined scores from the two events. Vouchers to assist with tournament travel sponsored by the House of Travel, Canterbury Golf and Golf Otago were awarded to the top male, female and U19 boy. The House of Travel Tour prizes went to Scott Hellier (Gore) with a $1250 voucher, Miya with a $500 voucher for the best under-19 effort while Hung took the $750 prize for the best female performance over both the Canterbury and Otago events.
Hellier went into the Otago event with a 13-stroke lead after winning the Canterbury title at Templeton a week ago, but he finished sixth at Balmacewen, leaking 10 shots to Miya, who finished second in the overall men’s event three shots back.
St Clair junior Jacob Bellamy set the pace on Saturday morning with a par 71, leading five players on 72, Miya shot a 4-under-par 67 on Saturday afternoon, giving him a five-shot lead over Andrew Hobbs (Island Park) with Christchurch’s JJ Love a further shot back. Miya went into the final round with seven-shot lead over Hellier who shot his best round of the event with a 68 yesterday morning.Brandon Hodgson (Otago) and Michael Ormandy (St Clair) were tied for third a further stroke back.
Miya was far too solid to let the impressive lead slip and Parker shot a final round of 69 to clinch second place.
New Zealand Open winner in 2003, Mahal Pearce played in the amateur event as a professional guest and carded a par aggregate for 284.