Harold claims Open title
Rising Palmerston North golfing star Rhys Harold returned from California to win the Horowhenua Open at Levin yesterday.
The 17-year-old finished one under par after posting rounds of 75 and 70 to win by one shot.
He only returned on Tuesday from the Callaway world junior championships on the famous Torrey Pines course, near San Diego. There he had rounds of 76, 77 and 79 to finish 70th of about 210 players to miss the final-round cut.
"It was pretty long, the hardest around the greens," he said. "I didn't convert because of the speed of the greens and the undulations.
"It was a good experience playing with international players and comparing my game against theirs. I drove the ball well. My approach shots were not quite on cue."
Next week he is off to the Bay of Plenty Open.
Harold yesterday headed experienced Manawatu Golf Club player Rhys Watkins who, with 71 and 75, was the joint first-round leader tied with Foxton's Junior Tatana. However, Tatana posted an 82 in the afternoon.
A shot further back was young Manawatu player Regan McConaghty (73, 74) who was one ahead of Wanganui's Michael Arnott (76, 73) one better than Wellington's Brad Rowland (76, 73) and Rangitikei's Marty Field (74, 75).
This was the first of the Manawatu-Wanganui trials and the top four were automatically chosen for the representative side to play Wellington in the annual match at Levin on August 10.
In the women's field at Levin, Levin's New Zealand junior Brydie Hodge on her home course shot 71, 79 to win by one shot from her representative team-mate, Manawatu's Emma Clayton (76, 75).
Third was another Manawatu-Wanganui player, Amber-Rose Thompson-Newth (Castlecliff) with 77 and 79, a shot ahead of Marton's Jenny Ritchie (79, 78).
Manawatu-Wanganui teams to play Wellington.
Senior men: Josh Munn (Manawatu), Tyler Hodge (Levin), Lachie McDonald (Marton), Junior Tatana (Foxton), Rhys Harold (PN), Rhys Watkins (Manawatu), Regan McConaghty (Manawatu), Michael Arnott (Wanganui), Tyler Lock (Castlecliff), Stu Smith (Manawatu), Jack Leenards (Manawatu), Michael Birchall (Manawatu).
Masters men: Tony Chettleburgh (PN), Marty Field (Rangitikei), Michael Arnott (Wanganui), Rick Harding (Wanganui), Reuben Tomane (Levin), Kim Ballantyne (Levin).
Junior men: Josh Sedgwick (Manawatu), Nick Quantock-Holmes (Manawatu), Greg Shaw (Manawatu), Reid Perry (Manawatu), Casey Jensen (Manawatu), Liam Finlayson (Feilding ).
Women: Brydie Hodge (Levin), Emma Clayton (Manawatu), Amber-Rose Thompson-Newth (Castlecliff), Jill Hall (Rangitikei), Katherine Paskins jnr (PN), Jenny Ritchie (Marton), Karen Manninen (Manawatu), Leanne Corbett (Waiouru).