Rotorua's 16-year-old golfing star James Tauariki has shot what may be the lowest numerical score recorded on a New Zealand course.

He demolished the Springfield Golf Club layout on Saturday in a stunning 13 under par 57.

Tauariki's first nine was astounding, needing only 26 shots.

He birdied the first four holes but could "only" make par on the par four 5th, before bouncing back with an eagle on the first of Springfield's par fives, the 6th. Then he birdied the 7th, 8th, and 9th to be 9 under for 9 holes.


He didn't ease off on the more difficult back nine either. He parred the 10th, but made three consecutive birdies on the 11th, 12th and 13th before settling into a run of four pars.

But the short par 4 18th at Springfield is a real birdie opportunity and Tauariki duly made 3 on the 269 metre hole for a second nine of 31 and a total score that may have no precedent in New Zealand, and not bettered often by anybody in the world.

Bay of Plenty Golf chief executive Chris McAlpine says "he's never heard of any score lower than that" in New Zealand.

In his days at Springfield, PGA Tour player Danny Lee once shot 59.

Tauariki's score can't really count as a course record though because it was played under "clean and place" conditions whereby players can move the ball up to 15cm on their own fairway to improve their lie.

Such an extraordinary score has not come out of the blue though.

The teenager had recently returned rounds of 65 at Waimairi Beach in Christchurch October 10 and 64 at Springfield back on October 6.

He finished 10th at the North Island championships at Whakatane last month but that was mainly due to a poor first round of 79. After that he shot 66, 69 and 70.


Earlier in September he was 8th at New Zealand Secondary Schools championship in Palmerston North.

Chris McAlpine says it will be intriguing to see if Tauariki now makes the eight-man Bay of Plenty senior team for the quadrangular Garrard Shield between Bay of Plenty, Auckland, Waikato and Northland.

Previously this year he's been in the Under 16 team but has just has his 16th birthday.

The good form augurs well for the New Zealand Amateur Championship starting on Wednesday week at Wairakei.