Wilson masters Whangaroa


Kerikeri's Scott Wilson upset the form book to win his second Northland Champion of Champions strokeplay title on Sunday - with both wins at the Whangaroa Golf Club.

Wilson said he played pretty conservatively and a lot of players had ended up carding big scores on the course, which seemed friendly but hid some vindictive features.

"People underestimate how difficult Whangaroa can be and there are a lot of risk and reward holes, so you can come unstuck pretty quickly," he said.

The high scores by some good players was testament to that and Wilson wasn't quite immune to its temptations in the end.

He was cruising after a rare sub par first round, a one-under 69, had him ahead of the pack at the turn. On the par four second, he attempted a drive to the green and ended up regretting it, shooting a nine.

"I was six ahead of Bob Shirley until that hole and we walked away level after he got a birdie," Wilson said.

He went back to a more conservative approach and shot a second round of 75 - good enough to win by four shots.

The win kept the Pines' champion and Northland No 1 Luke Brown from making a clean sweep of all the major Northland titles this year, with Wellsford's Brad Bonnington third.

"I was pretty happy with the way I played. I found it pretty easy in the morning but it was a bit tougher in the afternoon when the wind came up," Wilson said.

The Bay of Islands champion, who beat Northland No 2 Alex Neely to represent his club at the tournament, has been in good form recently, travelling away with the Northland Masters Team at the recent interprovincials in Napier.

His ability to hit straight under pressure saw him win seven of his eight matches at the contest, a rare feat playing against some experienced golfers, particularly the scratch players from the bigger centres.

Wilson said he had to thank his caddy at Whangaroa on Sunday, Alan Wright, who drew a few laughs from fellow competitors.

"They were cracking up because he was reading my putts while sitting in the golf cart ... but it worked out all right in the end," he said.

- Northland Age

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