Tyler named Manawatu Sportsman of the Year

KELVIN TEIXEIRA
Last updated 16:30 13/11/2012
Tyler Hodge
FAIRFAX
Winning form: Tyler Hodge, Manawatu Junior Sportsman of the Year.

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Levin golfer Tyler Hodge has been named Manawatu Junior Sportsman of the Year.

The 18-year-old beat four other finalists, including Levin javelin thrower Ben Langton Burnell, at the awards in Palmerston North on Friday night.

Hodge's win adds to a string of victories on the golf course during the past year.

Three weeks ago he won the Manawatu 36-hole championship, his third regional NZ Golf order of merit win, having also won two national order of merit events this year, being the Waikato Winter Strokeplay and the Kapi Tareha tournament in Napier.

His biggest achievement came in April when he became the first Kiwi golfer to win the Australian Junior Amateur Championship since 1992. To cap that off in September he won the NZ Age Group Championship in Northland, becoming the first player to ever win both the NZ and Australian titles in the same year.

Other wins include the Horowhenua Open in Levin and the Challenge Cup tournament at Rangitira, and being a member of the Manawatu Wanganui team which won the Southland Invitational and Shand Cup.

Hodge told the Horowhenua Mail that although he knew he had a chance of winning the Manawatu sports award, he was surprised but ''absolutely stoked''.

Even though he enjoyed having this Monday off from daily training, he is back into it in preparation for next week's NZ Open at Clearwater Golf Club in Christchurch, followed by the Australian Open early December.

Hodge said both tournaments would be a step up from previous competitions, but he saw them as ''pretty cool opportunities''.

At last Friday's awards, Hodge's coach Stephen Wood was a finalist for Coach of the Year.

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- Horowhenua Mail

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