Claiming your first win as a professional golfer is a major milestone but Denzel Ieremia has not only achieved that, he's also broken all sorts of records along the way.
Ieremia claimed the Christies Floorings Mount Open on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour at the Mount Maunganui Golf Club on Sunday, finishing 29-under par over four rounds. His score was enough to cruise to a seven-shot victory and smash the scoring record in a Jennian Homes Charles Tour event.
Ieremia began the final day with a six-shot cushion over local professional and hometown favourite Mark Brown at 23-under, and tried hard to finish 30-under.
"I had in the back of my mind what everyone was doing around me, but I really tried to focus on myself and to keep making birdies so I could get it to 30-under," Ieremia said.
"I came up just shy, but I played some tremendous golf all week so it's hard to complain about that."
Leading into the event, Ieremia impressively tied for fifth at the Australian Open the previous week, and secured a sixth-place finish at the New South Wales Open the week prior.
He fired rounds of 64, 63, 66, and 66 to lift his first trophy as a professional, which will help his confidence going into the Australian PGA this week.
"It's a real honour coming back to these events and playing the way I did. I progressed through these tournaments as an amateur and I was able to learn off all the professionals that played only three or four years ago.
"To come back and hopefully be in a position to give back to the people I play with and to continue to learn to pretty special.
"I get to travel over to Australia next week knowing I've got what it takes to win, so hopefully I can keep making lots of birdies. We'll see what happens," Ieremia said.
In the women's event, Fiona Xu secured a 15-shot victory to claim the inaugural Christies Floorings Mount Women's Open and Grant Clements Memorial, breaking records of her own in the process.
The victory is the most of any women on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour, showing how dominant the Auckland golfer had been all week.
Xu began the day with a nine-shot buffer but continued her impressive form to card a six-under par 66 to cruise to victory.
She had her sights set on finishing the year on a high, and she's proud that she's done just that.
"This feels really good. It's awesome to finish the year like this and I'm happy to do it here at Mount Maunganui," Xu said.
The Aucklander also broke her own personal milestone this week, shooting her lowest ever total in a four-round event.
"The best I have ever got to in a tournament is 10-under over three rounds. I'm a little surprised I went this low, but I guess it's a sign of good things to come," she said.
The other trophy up for grabs was the season-long Jennian Homes Trophy awarded to the player who accumulates the most points throughout the Jennian Homes Charles Tour season.
James Anstiss had one-hand on the trophy this week, and only Luke Toomey could take it from his grasp with a three-way tie for second place or better.
Toomey fought hard all week but came up just short in sixth place at 15-under for the tournament, making Anstiss your 2019 winner of the Jennian Homes Trophy.
Men's scores after round 4 on Sunday:
259 Denzel Ieremia (PGA New Zealand) 64 63 66 66.
266 Mark Brown (PGA New Zealand) 66 66 67 67.
268 Fraser Wilkin (PGA New Zealand) 69 64 72 63.
271 Tyler Wood (Palmerston North) 70 63 70 68.
272 Jared Edwards (Royal Auckland and Grange) 66 64 75 67.
Women's scores after round 4 on Sunday:
274 Fiona Xu (Akarana) 69 71 68 66.
289 Angela Ju (Pakuranga) 73 72 72 72.
293 Caryn Khoo (Pakuranga) 72 74 74 73.
296 Caitlin Maurice (Omokoroa) 71 76 78 7.
299 Marina Ito (Mount Maunganui) 72 77 75 75, Siyi Keh (Titirangi) 72 75 75 77.
Jennian Homes Trophy Points:
1st: James Antiss 1200 points.
2nd: Luke Toomey 1100.
3rd: Josh Geary 637.
4th: Fraser Wilkin 631.5.
5th Daniel Pearce 617.