New Plymouth professional Grant Moorhead will defend his Tahiti Open title over the next four days.
Moorhead has a great track record at the Olivier Breaud International golf course in Atimaono. He won there three times in succession from 1993-1995.
The 41-year-old won for a fourth time at Atimaono when he claimed the 2011 event after torrential rain caused the final round to be abandoned. Moorhead had rounds of 65, 69 and 64 for an impressive 18-under-par total of 198 from three rounds to win by two shots from Hamish Robertson, who carded scores of 68, 66 and 66 for a 16-under total.
The 29th Tahiti Open holds an $128,000 purse and has attracted a quality field this year including Kiwis Gareth Paddison, Ryan Fox, Nick Gillespie and Australians Brad McIntosh and Terry Pilkadaris.
A strong field is expected to compete in the Reid Plumbing-sponsored North Taranaki age-group championships at the Fitzroy Golf Club on Wednesday.
The 36-hole event will include 12 junior golfers from Auckland, who will also play a Taranaki junior development team at New Plymouth on Thursday.
Local players likely to feature in the boys' section include Brook Gray (Tumahu), Hayden Chamberlain (Waitara), Ben Joseph (Inglewood), Fletcher Broderick (New Plymouth) and Sam Jones (Manaia), while Taranaki representatives Celeste McLean and Holly Winter from Manaia will be leading contenders for the girls' title.
The Taranaki junior development team to play Auckland (in playing order) is: boys, Hayden Chamberlain (Waitara), Ben Joseph (Inglewood), Sam Jones (Manaia), Fletcher Broderick (New Plymouth), Scott Neale (Kaitake), Ethan Jones (Manaia), Daniel White (Hawera), Jarron Pittams (Te Ngutu); girls, Shantelle Bromell (Inglewood), Claudia Munro (Manaia), Tyla Winter (Manaia) and Tineka Kumeroa (Manaia).
The Pungarehu Golf Club completed its 2012 men's strokeplay championships recently.
The 36-hole senior championship was won by David Simpson (74-73-147), with Mark Van der Poel (84-78-162) winning the intermediate title and Cody Rothwell (91-95-186) taking out the junior division.
- © Fairfax NZ News