A field of 44 will compete for the men's title in the Good Home Restaurant and Bar Westown Classic at the Westown Golf Club this weekend.
The 72-hole championship has also attracted 13 women.
The men's title is wide open, with Taranaki's top amateur, Brad Hayward, and clubmate Zach Lewis missing the Good Home Restaurant and Bar-sponsored event, both playing in the South Island men's strokeplay championship.
Major contenders include Jamie Reid (Fitzroy), Murray Martin (New Plymouth) and the father-son combination of Daryl and Stuart Baird. Locals Tony Hardy and Tyla Otene are also likely to be in the mix.
In the women's division, Manaia's Celeste McLean will start as the red-hot favourite, with clubmate Holly Winter also away at the South Island women's strokeplay championship.
❏ The Taranaki pairing of Brad Hayward and Jamie Reid (72-71-143) shot a one-under-par total to finish in a tie for third at the New Zealand men's foursomes strokeplay championship at the Mt Maunganui course last Friday.
The 36-hole championship was won by Compton Pikari and Bailey Smith (73-65-138). The other Taranaki duo competing, Sachin and Sanjay Modgill (New Plymouth) shot rounds of 78 and 79.
Reid (73-71-72-73-289) and Hayward (73-76-75-69-293) then teamed up for Taranaki to finish third in the Grant Clements Memorial tournament played at the same venue at the weekend. The pair had a combined gross of 582, 15 shots behind winners Auckland (Nick Voke, 71-73-69-71-284, and Tae Koh 74-70-68-69-281).
Other Taranaki scores were: Sanjay Modgill (79-79-79-71-308) and Sachin Modgill (85-86-82- 82-335).
❏ A poor putting performance by Murray Martin (78-77-75-230) saw him finish well off the pace in 19th position in the New Zealand men's seniors championship at the Centennial golf course in Taupo last weekend. Auckland golfer Brent Patterson (70-72-71-213) was in a class of his own, winning the 54-hole event by a massive nine shots. Kaitake's Robbie Sim (77-84-84-245) finished 80th in the 186-strong field. Former New Plymouth golfer Peter Rankin, now playing at Manor Park, finished 11th after rounds of 76, 77 and 75.
❏ Fitzroy golfer Jan Clarke scored her first hole-in-one last Tuesday when she holed out on the 116-metre sixth hole.
❏ The first round of the Dow AgroSciences men's handicap pennant competition was played on Sunday, with last year's champions, Manukorihi One, being upset 5-4 by Kaitake Two.
It was a good day for Kaitake, with the club's No 1 team edging out Tumahu 5-4. Inglewood teams also got off to a perfect start with Inglewood One beating Fitzroy One (6-3) in the North division and Inglewood Two prevailing over Eltham 5½ - 3½.
The second round of the competition will be played on Sunday, February 24.
Is Ma'a Nonu returning to the Hurricanes ...Related story: Ma'a Nonu's return to Hurricanes confirmed