The final outcome of the Carrus Tauranga Open was a double delight for Bay of Plenty golf fans.
Both Tauranga-based men's winner Mark Brown and women's champion Alanna Campbell from Omanu defended their titles in some style to end four rounds of low scoring at the Tauranga Golf Club yesterday.
Brown held off a fast finish from left hander Gareth Paddison, who had the day's low score of 63 to claim the season-long race to the Jennian Homes Trophy, to win by two shots.
Campbell stormed home in six-under 66 to equal the course record and win by a single stroke.
The super steady Brown looked unruffled during his fine six-under 65 to finish on 18-under for the tournament and win a record fourth Carrus Tauranga Open title.
"It feels great. This one was different to the others as I played really well on the final day. I felt really in control of my game and showed some patience throughout the round," Brown said.
"When I have been near the lead in the past few tournaments I haven't shown that, so that was really pleasing and to finish strongly on the last day was really satisfying."
Brown says the Tauranga course suits his game and is familiar territory since basing himself here a few years ago.
"You have to drive the ball pretty straight and today I hit every drive but one exactly where I was aiming. If you do that and you are not over the racetrack you are in play, plus there are a couple of par fours you can drive.
"Driving the ball is one of my strengths so that is probably why it suits me round here."
There was plenty of support in the largest gallery seen at a Bay of Plenty golfing event in years for Te Puke club pro Jared Pender, who finished fourth in a top-class performance.
Pender grew up not far from the 8th fairway so knows the course inside out and but for a few late blemishes on his rounds on Friday and Saturday would have been a real threat to Brown coming down the home stretch.
Meanwhile Campbell, 18, arrived at the Tauranga course early yesterday with a five-shot deficit back in fourth place.
She made early inroads into overnight leaders Brittney Dryland and Carmen Lim with her round of 66 the only sub-70 round in the women's event.
Campbell won by a single shot in the end from 13-year-old Lim (Windross Farm).
"I set myself a target of shooting six-under today and I thought it would give me a chance and it has in the end," Campbell said.
"I had a run of birdies from 9 through to 13 which helped a bit and steady birdies throughout the round. Yesterday the puts were sliding by and I felt like I was due for some puts to drop and that is what happened today.
"I find the difference between shooting six-under and six-over is putting."
It is excellent timing for Campbell before she starts a four-year golf scholarship at the acclaimed Iowa State University.
Winning the title again before she leaves for her great opportunity in the US in mid-July "is pretty cool," she said.
Men's final scores (par 71)
262 Mark Brown (PGA New Zealand) 64 66 67 65
264 Gareth Paddison (PGA New Zealand) 67 71 63 63, Harry Bateman (Muriwai) 65 64 70 65
265 Jared Pender (Te Puke) 65 67 66 67
266 David Klein (Te Anau) 63 66 69 68
268 Tae Koh (Windross Farm Golf Course) 69 67 64 68
269 Nick Coxon (Riverside) 68 64 71 66
270 Sam An (Titirangi) 72 65 67 66, Troy Ropiha (PGA New Zealand) 65 68 67 70, Daniel Pearce (PGA New Zealand) 66 65 69 70, Dongwoo Kang (PGA New Zealand) 64 68 67 71
271 Kieran Muir (Omokoroa) 70 65 67 69
272 William Howard (Tauranga) 67 68 70 67, Josh Geary (PGA New Zealand) 66 69 65 72
274 Karl Knedler (Tauranga) 64 73 70 67, Ben Campbell (PGA New Zealand) 69 67 69 69, Victor Janin (Rotorua) 68 68 68 70, Brad Shilton (PGA New Zealand) 66 72 66 70, Matthew McLean (Harewood) 68 68 67 71, Wesley Jeon (Whitford Park) 68 70 64 72, Fraser Wilkin (Royal Auckland) 67 64 68 75
275 Hayden Beard (Mt Maunganui) 69 70 67 69
Women's final scores (par 72)
285 Alanna Campbell (Omanu) 75 71 73 66
286 Carmen Lim (Windross Farm Golf Course) 71 70 73 72
288 Brittney Dryland (Titirangi) 72 71 71 74
289 Chantelle Cassidy (Riverside) 71 73 73 72
295 Rose Zheng (Pakuranga) 71 73 77 74
301 Grace Senior (Wairakei International Golf Course) 74 73 79 75
302 Jodae Ngaheu (Tauranga) 71 76 79 76