Professionals rub shoulders with amateurs at Fairhall

Grant Craig, from the Heagney Bros team, puts everything into this drive off the second tee. Photo: Peter Jones.

Thirty-one professional golfers and 93 amateurs gathered at the Marlborough Golf Club for the fifth annual Whitehaven Wines Marlborough Pro-Am tournament on Thursday.

Despite the cool, breezy conditions scores were low, especially among the professionals who were competing in their second of three NZPGA events during the week.

The winning Team was Harcourts, their three best stableford scores totalling 118. Team members were Mark Davis, David Searle, John Davis and their professional player was Doug Holloway.

Second place went to the ladies team sponsored by McKendry Ford with a score of 117. That team comprised Tracy Bary, Bridget Quaife, Margaret Tapp and their professional was Craig Mitchell.

In third was the Robinson Construction crew, scoring 115. Their team was Nick Robinson, Mark Watson, Jason Minhinnick and their professional player was Kieran Muir.

Fourth position was taken by Southern Turf (114), with team members being Lyell Marfell, Steve Marfell, Greg Jowers and professional Lachie McDonald.

The big-hitting Expelco team was fifth, with a score of 113. Team members were Geoff Barnett, Bruce McRae, Hamish McRae and professional Daniel Pearce.

Sixth place went to Pink Fit on 112, comprising Bruce Palmer, Kerry Fyfe, Ray Meaclem and professional Fraser Wilkin.

In seventh came Four Square Spring Creek, also on 112, the team comprising Tommy Glubb, Matt Sutherland, John Clark and professional Hayden Beard.

Eighth position was taken by Whitehaven Wines, another team to amass 112 points. Team members were Julian Terry, Wendy Batchelor, Allan Shutkowski and Nelson professional Blair Riordan.

The leading professional was Kieran Muir, from Omokoroa club, who registered a 70. Second equal were Daniel Pearce and Lachie McDonald, both on 72, while Dongwoo Kang, Trevor Marshall and Fraser Wilkin were fourth equal, scoring 73. Local pro Jonti Phillipson finished with a 74 for seventh equal while Chas Craig shot 76, for 16th position.

The professionals have been busy. They began the week with a two-day pro-am in Nelson than travelled to Kaikoura to play a two-day pro-am there on Saturday and Sunday.

At the ensuing prizegiving, the Marlborough GC recognised 10 local businesses who have been Gold Sponsors of the event for all five years of its existence. They were Whitehaven Wines, Robinson Construction, Harcourts, WK Accountants & Advisors, Gill Construction, Redwood Development, Blenheim ITM, Liquorland, Pink Fit and Golf Hub Marlborough.

The event is already booked on next year’s golfing calendar, with Whitehaven Wines agreeing to be the major sponsor once more.

The Ping Putter was won after a play-off by Mike Gainsford, from Shane Weaver, while the shoot out winner was Kieran Muir, with Dominic Sainsbury runner-up.

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