Covid-19 lockdowns in Auckland and Waikato didn't stop one of the biggest events on the Mount Maunganui Golf Club calendar from going ahead - just on a much smaller scale.
The Christies Floorings Mount Open was scaled back to a pro-am to allow golfers from outside the Auckland and Waikato boundaries to play in a one-day-only event yesterday.
A total of 29 professional and amateur golfers competed in the Christies Floorings Mount Pro Am at the Mount Maunganui Golf Club.
Masterton professional golfer Kerry Mountcastle shot an impressive 11 under to win with a final score of 61.
The 26-year-old said it was good to get out and play a tournament after not competing since May.
"It's pretty big, really, to be able to play and compete in tournament conditions. Even though it's on a smaller scale it's still awesome to be able to test yourself and see all your practice paying off."
Te Puke's Jared Pender, Ōmokoroa's Kieran Muir and Samuel Jones from Manaia each scored 67.
The club's general manager Michael Williams said the full four-round event on the Charles Tour, originally scheduled for September, was cancelled, with professional golfers from Auckland and Waikato unable to attend due to alert level restrictions.
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But organisers opted to continue with the pro-am for players outside of Auckland and Waikato for a one-day event.
Williams said players mostly from the North Island registered for the event, including local golfers, and a $15,000 purse was on offer for the professionals.
While the one-day tournament provided a much smaller boost to the economy than the usual four-day event, it was still "good news for golf" to be able to host something for the players, he said.
Former PGA Tour winner Philip Tataurangi, who was back in the Bay looking at a potential revamp of the golf course, had also registered for the pro-am, Williams said.
"To have someone of his status on the field is pretty cool."
Williams said he looked forward to being able to bring the full event back in September 2022.