Hastings professional golfer Daniel Pearce will take winning form into the NZ Open this week, but would still like a little more golf under his belt.
And before Pearce tees up on the manicured mounds of expectation at the 101st New Zealand Open from Thursday, he's mindful of how fortunate he is to be able to compete in the country's most prominent tournament in the code and still be able to pursue a building apprenticeship.
Apart from harbouring a desire to be a Kiwi contender for the title at the Millbrook Resort and The Hills in Queenstown, the 31-year-old father of two will also have an eye on the $1 million hole-in-one prize on the 18th hole of the resort course on the final two days.
"A hole in one is one of those lucky shots so it's not like you can stand on the tee and make yourself hole it," says Pearce, who caught a flight from Auckland on Monday after attending a wedding there.
Amateurs also are in contention for the $250,000 prize money if they ace the par 3 hole while five charities will divide the remaining Sky Sport Supporting Charities Hole-in-One spoils.
The charities are Habitat for Humanity, the New Zealand Golf Foundation, the Bruce Grant Youth Trust, St Johns Queenstown and the HUHA (Helping You Help Animals) Australian Bushfire Relief.
"Sure, it's exciting to have that opportunity but you've just got to hit a good shot and hope because if it goes in early then it'll be like winning Lotto," says Pearce with a chuckle.
"You can go buy a Lotto ticket but that doesn't mean you're going to win it."
He suspects he has played in every tournament since turning professional in 2012 so he'll be "stoked" to win it.
Howie, Ballantyne NZ Eagles stint ending
Lily's not the wilting type when it comes to match play
HBPB, Man/Whang showdown at Napier match play tourney
"It'd be incredible for the charities and incredible for our financial gains as well so it'll be amazing in all regards but if it happens, it happens and if it doesn't ... "
He says the 18th hole isn't long but has a distracting water hazard. Even so, Pearce has claimed a couple of birdies on it.
"Although the water isn't in your way it's there so it's more of a mental challenge, that hole, than anything."
Winning the Waihi pro-am was no fluke last weekend. Pearce showed his character to come from behind with a second-round 10-under score.
He has been driving the ball off the tee pretty solidly and his putting is coming along nicely but he hopes to tidy up his chipping a little, especially with his wedges.
Pearce hasn't played a lot of golf, of late.
"I guess I'm a little under prepared but I have been playing as much competitive golf as I can so it's a little more challenging when you haven't been playing so much leading into a big event like this."
Regardless of that, he is looking forward to the great days in the south.
He can see merit in the adage that less is more, considering golf can be physically quite demanding.
"You need time to step back to do other things and spend time with the family, and what not, to refresh the mind and body so it [playing and practising fewer times] can definitely be a good thing," he says.
Pearce was at the NZ Open venues shortly after New Year and encountered unseasonal rain.
"I'm expecting it to be a lot more rough around than normal so if there is then it certainly makes it more premium hitting the ball well off the tees to keep the ball in play otherwise you can get into a bit of trouble."
Pearce can drive hit long, between 280m to 300m, which puts him up there with the big-hitting blokes.
He's indebted to his employers, Sam Lamborn who runs Dundeal Building Ltd, for enabling him to simmer golf on the backburner while he carves a niche as a tradie.
"He's an absolute legend in allowing me to work and then also get away to play golf."
Pearce also salutes wife Sarah who takes everything else in her stride, including the demanding task of nurturing their children, Lola, 3, and 1-year-old Frankie.
"[She's] an amazing part of all I do ... she takes care of the kids and doing all the things she's doing, so she's an incredible woman."
Teenager Jimmy Zheng, of Auckland, and Matthew McLean, of Christchurch, join experienced Wellington course superintendent Adam Church as amateurs to make the muster for the NZ Open. It'll be Church's second stint.
New Zealand Maori Championship Owen Lloyd, of Te Marua, also benefits.
The invitation gesture from NZ Golf is an attempt to boost growth among Maori amateurs. A powhiri will be held at Millbrook to acknowledge the importance of the occasion.
The NZ Maori Golf Association has also planned a formal ceremony for Lloyd who'll be clad in a korowai called Te Ati a-toa.
In another first, golfers with a disability will compete for the inaugural New Zealand All Abilities Championship.
Twenty-four golfers will tee up at Jacks Point and The Hills on Friday and Saturday. A cut will be made for the final round with the leading six to play at Millbrook Resort on Sunday.
The golfers will lead the field out on the final day's play, playing the same course from the same tees and under the same conditions as the NZ Open Championship players.