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PRO AM 2016

Results from the Harcourts Waitangi Pro Am Tournament held on 7 and 8 April 2016

Christchurch and New Plymouth Professionals took home the titles at the recent Harcourts Bay of Islands Waitangi Pro Am Golf tournament.

The first day saw New Plymouth Golf Professional Steven Heyes hold his nerve in a sudden death chip off on the 18th hole to win the inaugural Harcourts Bay of Islands Waitangi Shootout.

The chip, earnt Hayes the $2000 winner takes all prize money ahead of Omokoroa’s Kieran Muir after the two of them battled it out over Waitangi’s inward nine holes with eight other professionals.

The ten pros who started the shoot-out had qualified with the best scores in the morning when all the professionals went head to head across the field to qualify for the top ten.

The shootout was introduced this year as part of the Harcourts Waitangi Pro-Am Tournament held 7 and 8 April.

This year’s Pro-Am is being heralded as the best yet and planning for next year’s Pro Am has already started with the potential of an extended Northern Swing for the Professionals with increased prize money.

One of the main attractions was to see if Rotorua’s Peter Lee could defend his title yet again to record a three-peat in as many years.

However on the day it was Christchurch professional Shaun Jones winning his first Professional event, after nine second place finishes!  

Shaun, who very recently married, played the round with his wife Anita carrying the bag, and it obviously brought him luck as he shot an excellent 5 under 67, birding the 18th, to win by a single shot, on a course extended 100 metres longer compared to the previous year.

Runner up was Auckland based Waikato pro Brad Shilton, and Mount Maunganui’s Hayden Beard, on 68, with the last two years winner  Peter Lee tied for fourth on 69. Peter tied with fellow Rotorua Pro Victor Janin, and Aucklander Fraser Wilkin.

Fraser Wilkin also helped the locals claim the bragging rights as the Team event was won by the Admiralsview Lodge and That Coffee Bloke combination of three amateurs, made up of Waitangi Golf Club President Grant Hastings, Mark Yarrall, and Craig Boles who carded an excellent combined score of 130 Stableford points ahead of Harcourts BOI #1 on 126. 3rd was Fullers Great Sights, on 122, with KeriKeri Colour Centre, on 120.

The tournament also had a charity element to it with the Pro-Am coinciding with St John Ambulance week, the local St John Ambulance was the charity chosen to benefit from a variety of activities held in conjunction with the two day tournament – most based around the welcome function on the Thursday night.

Te Pito Whenua, from the Waitangi Treaty Grounds provided a stirring and very appropriate local welcome to the manuhiri - players and other guests.  At times during their performance you could have heard a pin drop in the Waitangi club rooms.  The welcome function also featured great Northland All Black, Bryan ‘Bee Gee’ Williams who provided some nostalgic and humorous stories about his playing days.

A charity raffle and auction went off extremely well thanks to Placemakers Kerikeri donating the raffle first prize of a barbeque and accessories, which made for lots of keen raffle buyers.  

Harcourts Bay of Islands provided a professional Auctioneer who worked the crowd so that great money was paid for a trip for three around the BOI with Campbellcopters, while a second auction for a flight for three on Swanair raised the pot even further.  It must have been a thirsty lot as a magnum of Champagne donated by Harcourts BOI topped the night off, with the total raised for St John at $2805.

Tournament convenor Dave Winslow is already into preliminary planning for next year, “There has been so much positive feedback about this year’s Pro-Am and Shootout having been the best yet both immediately at the prize giving and in emails since then.

“We have received so many comments about how well the Waitangi Course has been presented by Green Superintendent Alan Smithyman and his team.

“It was great how so many local businesses in the Greater Bay of Islands area, and further afield came together to support the tournament and the local St John Ambulance and I have to especially thank the team at Harcourt Bay of Islands for their support as the naming rights sponsor for the third year in a row, and the incredible support from the team at the NZPGA”.

Pro Am Runner Ups

L to R: Hayden Beard and Brad Shilton with Dennis Corbett

The Amateur Team Winners:

Admiral View Lodge and That Coffee Bloke

Left to Right: Grant Hastings, Mark Yarrall, Dennis Corbett and Craig Boles

Left to Right: Steven Heyes (Pro Shootout Winner)

and Dennis Corbett, Harcourts BOI

Left: Harcourts Waitangi Pro-Am winner Shaun Jones

centre Dennis Corbett Harcourts BOI and Right National events Manager NZPGA Geoff Smart