Challenge for talented teen

Taranaki men's golf selector John Newland, of Patea, has opted for youth over experience with the selection of 16-year-old Sam Jones as part of the five-strong team to compete in the SBS Southland Invitational tournament next month.

The Manaia junior is the bolter in the team, coming into contention after a solid performance at the North Island under-19 championship recently where he shot 11-over-par for the 54-hole event to finish 27th equal.

Jones will make his debut at senior level in the 72-hole Southland event with Brad Hayward, Zach Lewis (both New Plymouth), Jamie Reid (Fitzroy) and Brook Gray (Tumahu).

Eleven club teams will compete in the Cash Converters Foreman Trophy to be played at the Manukorihi Golf Club on Sunday.

The six-man teams will compete over 36 holes with the lowest aggregate net scores for all six players taking out the major prize.

The teams competing are: Manukorihi (2), Fitzroy (2), Urenui, New Plymouth, Westown, Inglewood, Kaitake, Waitara and Pungarehu.

Taranaki's top amateur men's duo of Brad Hayward and Jamie Reid will represent Taranaki at the Grant Clements Memorial tournament at the Mt Maunganui Golf Club on February 16 and 17.

The pair will team up for the New Zealand Men's Foursomes Championship to be played at the same venue on the Friday preceding the 72-hole championship.

Wellington amateur Harry Bateman (71-73-71-67-282) shot a six-under-par total in the Hastings Open last weekend to successfully defend his 2012 title.

New Plymouth's Brad Hayward (76-78-70-74-298) finished in fifth place, while clubmate Zach Lewis (78-78-78-78-312) finished down the order.

The Manukorihi club's opening day on Saturday will mark the first official use of its new course layout.

The club has rejigged the sequence of holes so that the green in front of the clubhouse (the old sixth) is now the 18th.

The first is now a par-five (the old 7th).

Much debate and work has gone into the changes to ensure the course is professionally set up, club officials said.

Taranaki professionals finished well off the pace in the opening event of the 2013 NZPGA tour schedule last weekend.

The $15,000 DHL Global Forwarding Pro-Am, played at the Eketahuna and Masterton Golf Clubs, was won by Japanese tour player Richard Lee (66-63-129) who shot an impressive 15-under-par total to finish two shots clear of rookie Daniel Pearce (64-67-131). Dominic Barson (67-71-138) was the best of the Taranaki professionals, finishing sixth-equal. Other Taranaki scores were: Grant Moorhead (69-74-143-18th=), Patrick Moore (75-72-147-24th=) and Blake Cowley (75-77-152-34=).

Westown golfer Peter Wilkes scored a rare eagle last Wednesday when he holed his second shot on the 322-metre par four fourth hole on his home course.

The 26 handicapper went on to score 46 stableford points but was edged out of the day's top score by Mr Taranaki Hardcore Nigel Dwyer who scored 47 points.

Taranaki Daily News