Golf: Tough conditions at Omanu

By Peter White


Waikato's No1 golfer Compton Pikari kept his nerve in difficult conditions to take out the 35th Omanu Classic played on the Omanu course over the weekend.

Pikari shot a superb round of four-under 68 in treacherous conditions in his second round played on Saturday, which in the end was the difference as he took out the coveted title by two shots from Rotorua club member William Howard.

Only two other golfers had rounds in the 60s, which indicates just how tough the playing conditions were, and both are familiar with the Omanu course that was as always in magnificent condition for the event.

Eighteen-year-old Omanu member Jordan Golding, who finished ninth equal, shot 69 in his opening round on Saturday morning, as did Brad Kendall from Mount Maunganui. Kendall was tied for the lead after 36 holes with Pikari, and New Plymouth's Brad Hayward, but a 77 on Sunday morning scuppered his chances.

Former professional golfer Eddie Burgess, from the Tauranga club, won the Omanu Classic in 1998 and 1999 and this time he took out the Mid Amateur title for the over 30-age-group with four excellent rounds. Burgess finished ninth equal among all the young guns who dominate amateur golf almost exclusively these days.

Special mention has to go to 18-year-old Tauranga golfer David Feeney, who scored a rare double eagle, or albatross, when he holed his second shot on the par-5 tenth hole.

The women's title was won by Titirangi golfer Key, Mun Chin who played very solid golf throughout to post a four round total of 300, seven shots ahead of fellow New Zealand rep Chantelle Cassidy from Tokoroa.

Outstanding young 14-year-old Omanu member Alanna Campbell played well under intense tournament pressure to finish third in a strong field, ahead of New Zealand rep Zoe-Beth Brake from Whakatane.

Omanu club manager Barry Plank said he felt sorry for the players battling the conditions on Saturday afternoon.

"Saturday morning was not so bad and then about 11 o'clock it started and they would have had four hours of rain and that is tough," Plank said.

"It changed from rain to squalls to showers and heavy rain and it was cold. Then on Sunday the wind got up and was shocking, so a feature of Compton's play was how well he controlled the ball in the windy conditions.

"Overall, this year's Omanu Classic was similar to the last couple of years except for the weather, which was the worst we have had in 10 years.

"We are pleased with how the Omanu players went and particularly Alanna, who had a great result, in a quality field and only two New Zealand reps beat her. The others were all older than her so another good tournament for her."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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