Thumbs up for the Maitai Masters

  • 7 November 2022
  • Peter Watson

Kameran Clarke claimed his second Total Golf Maitai Masters senior title with a three-shot victory at Nelson on Saturday.

The Nelson club member and lowest handicapper in the traditional 27-hole field lived up to his +3 rating with a steady 39 for the opening nine holes when the wind was at its strongest before recording a one-under 71 in the afternoon 18 holes for a total of 110.

Clarke – who won the event in 2018 when it was staged at its usual home at Waahi Taakaro – was locked in a tight battle until he pulled clear with three birdies on his back nine in the afternoon when the wind died and then switched around and strengthened.

There was a three-way tie for second between two other Nelson members, Jason Hylkema (41 and 72) and Bill Rooney (39 and 74), and Motueka’s James Campion (38 and 75) who all finished on 113.

Next was another Nelson member, Jayden Elmiger (40 and 77) on 117.

An almost full field of 115 golfers, including 57 who played the full 27 holes and 58 who did the 18-hole option, entered the popular annual tournament run by the Waahi Taakaro Golf Club, which this year was switched to Nelson because of serious flood damage at the Maitai Valley course.

The top senior net prize went to Bill Rooney on countback from James Campion after both totalled 110. This was just one shot ahead of Jayden Elmiger who pipped his fellow club member George Abernathy for third on countback. Fifth was Jason Hylkema on 112.

Richard Pearson – one of the oldest players in the field – showed that age is no barrier to those who stay fit by taking out the Intermediate title with an aggregate of 131. The Waahi Taakaro veteran carded an average 46 in the morning but came home strongly with a 85 in the afternoon to win by two shots form Rarangi’s Laurie McGlone (48 and 85). Jason Lee (Waahi Taakaro) grabbed third on countback from Grant Thorn (Motueka) after both ended on 134. Simon Parle (Nelson) was fifth one shot back.

Grant Thorn (107) recorded the best net followed by Bill Keenan (109, Rarangi), Laurie McGlone (110), Aiden Fraser (Nelson, 113) and Jason Lee (113).

Another Waahi Taakaro member, Lewis Wilson, won the junior cup with an impressive  gross score of 137 after opening with a 47 and finishing with a 90. He was streets head of Neil Howard (Waahi Taakaro, 148), Mike Brien (Waahi Taakaro, 149), Ian Hanford (Waahi Taakaro, 150) and Michael Dawson (Rarangi 151).

Lewis Wilson’s efforts also earned him the top prize for the best overall tournament net of 106. Next among the juniors were Neil Howard (113), Mike Brien (114), Ian Hanford (116) and Lily Broadbridge (Nelson, 119).

The top 18-holer was Nelson’s Bill Boyd who came in with an excellent net 69. Adrian Blake shaded his Nelson colleague Tom Thornalley for second after both carded 70. They were followed another Nelson pairing of Carl Snelgrove (71) and Richard Harden (72) who finished fourth and fifth respectively.

Despite the wind and quick greens, there were plenty of twos scored with Bill Rooney getting two. Others to nab one were James Campion, Laurie McGlone, Geoff Halkett (Waahi Taakaro), Barry Davies (Nelson), Jason Lee, George Abernathy, Warwick King (Waahi Taakaro), Hugh Fitzgibbon (Greenacres), Warren Phillips (Palmerston North), Richard Puklowski (Nelson), Will Thornalley (Nelson), Tracy Saunders (Clearwater)  and Bill Keenan.

Among the novelty prizes, Nelson’s John Gifkins won the pitch for cash, Richard Devine hit the straightest drive, Jason Lee got closest to the pin on No 15 as did Richard Puklowski  on No 6, while the longest drives were smoked by Tony Watkins (senior), Aaron Webby (intermediate) and Tracy Saunders (junior).

Waahi Taakaro would like to say a big thank you to the Nelson club for helping us out by hosting the tournament and to all our volunteers for making it a successful day.

And finally we are indebted to our sponsors Total Golf, NBS, Neil Elliott Drainage, Ray McKenzie and Sons, Super Liquor, Waste Management and The Cutting Bar for their support.  

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