Birdie hunter sets pace in Eketahuna

By Jim Clelland


Eketahuna Golf Club was the place to be on Saturday.

There are just 84 members of this club, and those who were not playing in the first round of the DHL Global Forwarding and Recreational Services Masterton Eketahuna pro-am were either in the kitchen, on the barbecue or working at the "gamble" hole.

This is the first event of the 2013 pro-am season with Mondiale once again sponsoring the PGA Order of Merit to the tune of a minimum of $5000 bonus for the winner.

Daniel Pearce, of Ashburton, made eight birdies with just the one bogey blemish on the par four 11th hole for his round of 64 and a two shot lead over next best professional, North Harbour's Richard Lee.

Lee's 66, starting on the second hole under the shotgun format, was made up of a birdie-bogey on the fourth and fifth holes, then he made five more birdies over the rest of the round, three of them in the last five holes.

New Plymouth's Dominic Barson was alone in third place with a 67 while another qualifying school rookie in Leonard Morgan from Hamilton returned a three under par round of 68 in his first start as a PGA professional. That put him in a tie for fourth place with Doug Holloway (Hawke's Bay), Mark Purser (Hamilton) and Kieran Muir (Omokoroa).

The event concluded yesterday at the Masterton Golf Club.


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