Paddison on the hunt for history

By NZ Golf

Gareth Paddison of New Zealand during round one of the 2016 New Zealand Open. Photo / Photosport
Gareth Paddison of New Zealand during round one of the 2016 New Zealand Open. Photo / Photosport

Gareth Paddison is aiming for a rare slice of history as he looks to achieve three consecutive victories on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour this week.

If Paddison can convert at the prestigious Carrus Open which starts at the Tauranga Golf Club tomorrow, he will be the only player to have completed the remarkable three-peat.

After a playoff victory at the Barfoot & Thompson Akarana Open, followed by a dominant five-shot win at the Autex Muriwai Open, its hard to bet against the experienced Wellington professional who is arguably in career best form.

The Carrus Open wont be the only trophy in his sight with this being the final event of the summer which means the Jennian Homes Trophy will be handed over to the seasons highest points scorer on Sunday afternoon.

"Im not thinking about the overall standings at this stage, I just need to continue my recent form, enjoy the week and stick to my game plan which has been working well," said Paddison.

This addition to the national circuit has provided players with extra incentive to keep playing here in New Zealand and rewards their perseverance and consistency.

It has been a long time between drinks for the Carrus Open due to a schedule change last year which means three-time Carrus Open winner, Mark Brown has been the defending champion for two seasons now.

Brown has finished third and second respectively in his previous two events and now returns to his own backyard to go one better, much like in 2015 where Brown won by just one stroke over rising amateur Joshua Munn.

Another former champion in the form of Ben Campbell adds to an already strong field as he looks to complete his first tournament since his courageous second place finish at the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open in March.

Campbell who won here as an amateur in 2010 had to withdraw from the recent Queensland PGA Championship with heat stroke and has been unable to play since, but he now enters this week fresh and rearing to go.

Also returning from the injury ward is the Queensland PGA Championship winner, Daniel Pearce who suffered a back injury a week later, just as he was finding form. With his length off the tee, there is potential to go low this week.

Surrounded by the Tauranga Race Course, the hot tip might just be for a local quinella.

Bay of Plenty number one Alanna Campbell is the womens defending champion and will be playing in her final event on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour before she travels to Iowa State to take up a golfing scholarship.

Campbell has been a regular on the national circuit and with two wins to her name, she has been a great competitor and dominant force at this level.

She will no doubt have mountains of local support in her home town, but they wont be able to control much if Autex Muriwai Open champion, Chantelle Cassidy gets going once again.

Cassidy had a comfortable win at the Muriwai Open to record her fourth title and show why she has been one of the countrys leading amateurs over a long period and she will look to continue this tomorrow.

The Waikato amateur also has control of the season long points tally and can only be beaten by new professional, Hanee Song who has returned to New Zealand after a stint in Australia.

For Cassidy to lose her place at the top of the ladder, she will need to finish in third or worse with a Song victory, otherwise it is looking likely she will be rewarded for another good season.

All players in contention for the Jennian Homes Trophy will be looking closely at Paddison throughout the week and will be up for the challenge as they attempt to catch the form player.

Mark Brown, Josh Geary and Brad Shilton will be the most intrigued as they look to make a late charge and take home the season long points trophy and with that, a sizable $5,000 in additional prize money.

First ball is to be struck at 7:15am with the Pro-Am featuring Sir Bob Charles teeing off at midday today.

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Golf NZ

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