Luke Toomey was just 14 when he first played in the Grant Clements Memorial 72 Hole Tournament.
The Waikato number one from the Riverside club grew up watching the likes of US PGA Tour professional Danny Lee burning up the pristine fairways and greens at Mount Maunganui Golf Club to win the prestigious event.
And now it is Toomey's time.
The 22-year-old took the title at the Mount Maunganui course yesterday with a 72-hole total of 280, five shots ahead of Henry Spring (Whakatane) and Ryan Chisnall (Greenacres) with Peter Spearman-Burn (Miramar) a shot further back.
Toomey began the final round yesterday afternoon tied for the lead but he kept his nerve in the fierce heat to cruise home to victory.
He was in good form ahead of the tournament after finishing third equal at the high quality 2016 Lake Macquarie Amateur in Sydney last month.
"It means a lot to me to win this event. This is my eighth year playing it and it has always attracted a very prestigious field so to add my name on to a trophy that has such an illustrious group of people is very special. I am very humbled to be part of that group," Toomey said.
"Any win is always up there and to get the job done you have to bring your best golf. It is an Order of Merit event and I am proud of that. It was a strong field."
Toomey praised the condition of the course, especially considering the heavy rain that fell on Wednesday and Thursday.
"The course is good every year that we play it. Tee to green is always amazing and it was no different this year. The greens were very soft but the greenkeepers did a hell of a job presenting it the way they did considering that rain that came through."
The women's division attracted 18 players, the most for the event, and finished in a tie on 291 between Auckland Aviation Country golfers Yeo Kyung Hwang and Ayean Cho, with Hwang winning on a count back.
Brittney Dryland was two shots further back with Omanu's Alanna Campbell finishing in fourth place.
Tournament organiser Ray Horsfall says New Zealand Golf uses the tournament as part of a selection process to see the top amateurs perform under pressure.
"They are not going to pick someone to go overseas who can't handle four rounds in two days. Long durations stuff is what they are keen on and this is one of the tournaments they select from," Horsfall said.
"I shifted the tournament to this week to make it very attractive as it is only a month out from the New Zealand Open and is in the middle of qualifying for the Open."
280: Luke Toomey (Riverside) 70 69 71 70
285: Henry Spring (Whakatane) 73 70 72 70, Ryan Chisnall (Greenacres) 71 70 74 70
286: Peter Spearman-Burn (Miramar) 67 70 73 76
291: Yeo Kyung, Hwang (Aviation Country) 70 70 75 76, Ayean, Cho (Aviation Country) 68 70 76 77
293: Brittney Dryland (Titirangi) 72 70 81 70
306: Alanna Campbell (Omanu) 71 82 76 77