GOOD SPORTS: Ko qualifies for Junior Tiger finals here
Believe it or not, the world's No 3-ranked amateur golfer will be gracing the Hokowhitu fairways next Sunday.
Yes, Lydia Ko, who last weekend at the ripe old age of 13 won the North Island strokeplay, has qualified to play in the national Junior Tiger finals at Manawatu. The programme is for promising kids aged under 14, but she won the North Harbour qualifying so she is eligible, and it's worth her while.
Winners next Sunday go into the draw to win a trip to Disneyland and to the Callaway world junior championships in San Diego in July. Ko also happens to be the Australian strokeplay champion and was the leading amateur at the Australian and New Zealand Opens.
* There were Manawatu connections with the national Rally of Otago which finished yesterday.
Geof Argyle was driving his hot Mitsubishi Evo 8 in the weekend's opening round. And this year's series is sponsored by a Palmerston North company, running as the 2011 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship. Green himself was competing in the New Caledonia rally at the weekend.
Also at Dannevirke was the rebuilt Audi Quattro which the late Malcolm Stewart campaigned from Dannevirke.
* We hear there will be a rugby tour coinciding with the World Cup this year. It is the new International Defence Force Rugby Cup and the New Zealand team, usually containing many Linton Army players, will be coached by former Manawatu rugby halfback, Pita Lloyd.
Teams from as far afield as the United States, the three British armed forces and seven other national sides will play the preliminary games in Australia and the playoffs at Ponsonby in Auckland the week of the World Cup final. That might allow a few generals to pop along to Eden Park perhaps!
* Tu Toa shooter Brooke Leaver's name was spotted on the team sheet for the Central Pulse during their overtime win over the West Coast Fever last Monday night.
The 17-year-old is a training partner with the franchise and was given the opportunity to suit up as cover for Jade Topia who has persistent back problems.
Pulse coach Yvette McCausland-Durie said it was a great experience for Leaver, the daughter of former Silver Fern Leonie Leaver.
"We are really conscious that there are limited shooters around, so we thought we'd grow some ourselves," McCausland-Durie said.
* Palmerston North-born cricket umpire Trevor Chesterfield died in Sri Lanka last week. The 75-year-old spent most of his working life in South Africa as a first-class umpire and a journalist for the Pretoria News, before moving to Sri Lanka in 1993.
Here is an extract from his profile on the Cricinfo website.
"Trevor Chesterfield, or `Chesters', as he was known, was one of the true eccentrics in cricket journalism and was obsessed with the sport – his email handle was lbwbambrose, a nickname given to him by Bob Woolmer and a reference to the limp he had following an accident.
"He lived a global life, attracted to Sri Lanka by the warmth of the people and the climate. In between, he did a reporting stint during the Vietnam War. He would speak of reading Neville Cardus in the trenches, and of trying to attract his American colleagues to an alien game."