Golf great Ormsby's gone fishin'

By Greg Taipari

One of New Zealand's most successful women's amateur representatives, Brenda Ormsby, is swapping her golf clubs for a fishing rod.

Today's Danny Lee Springfield Open will be Ormsby's last as the club's pro-golfer. The 54-year-old will hang up her clubs and replace them with a fishing rod as she and partner Mark Dickson move to the Coromandel.

After more than 11 years as a pro, Ormsby said it was time for her to take a bit of time out, to relax and enjoy something else.

A past winner of the Bay of Plenty Sports Awards supreme title, Ormsby plans on making the most of the couple's 4m boat.

"When I first thought about it, I was a bit scared what was going to happen but the moment I handed in my resignation, I felt a sense of relief. Now I can do what I really want to do ...

"I absolutely love fishing, I am totally hooked on fishing. Mark has a bach at Port Jackson, that is right at the top of the Coromandel Peninsula, and that's where the boat lives."

Ormsby, who has represented Bay of Plenty, Thames Valley and New Zealand while an amateur said she targets mainly snapper.

"I caught a 20 pounder, it was a total fluke and I was lucky, I'd only been going out with Mark for about a year and I'd only been out a couple of times with him on the boat," Ormsby said.

"The first time I went out, I made out I was a real dummy and he was baiting my rod, unbaiting it and unhooking the fish. I was really living this up, until he discovered I could do it myself."

The pro-golfer, said although she was looking forward to the move she would miss the club members.

"This stint has been 10 years as the pro. I was working in the shop for a year, while the previous pro was away over in the States. So I looked after the shop."

Ormsby said she wasn't going to give away golfing entirely.

"I don't plan on having any affiliation with any golf club up there but as far as I'm aware - and I haven't really done my homework - there isn't a lot of golf pros up there and there's probably a bit of a hole for coaching and things.

"I've got the idea of being able to do some coaching up that way at different courses, travel around and do clinics and things like that; charge them of course because I've got to put petrol in the boat."

This year's Open will crown a new champion, with last year's winners Landyn Edwards and Pakuranga's Keh Wenyung not returning to defend their titles. Edwards was a late withdrawal; it is understood the golfer had lost his clubs after recently returning from overseas.

Another late withdrawal is Bay of Plenty golfer Zoe Brake.

Ormsby said with neither champion returning, it had opened up a great opportunity for any of the 96 who have entered the two-day tournament which started this morning.

She was picking Victor Janin in the men's division, after he shot a round of 62 last week. That equalled Danny Lee's record set in 2007 - before the new course layout.

"Chantelle Cassidy looks the one to beat [in the women's division]. I asked her how her form was and she said it was 'pretty good'."

The competition is played over 54 holes of strokeplay with two 18-hole rounds today and the final tomorrow morning.

There are rumours around the club that Lee may turn up. The pro-golfer said on television last year that he was keen to come back to the tournament. However, organisers haven't had any confirmation from Lee.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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