The star that is James Tauariki continues to shine brighter.

Over the past six months, the Rotorua Boys' High School 16-year-old's achievements include scoring a remarkable 13 under par 57 at the Springfield Golf Course and being crowned New Zealand Māori Golf champion.

He now gets to add, representing a national team in China to that list.

James will play for the Institute of Golf Junior Golf team in China at the end of this month - it will be the first junior golf team competition between the two countries.


He has previously represented New Zealand in rodeo and says making a national golf team is something he has always wanted to do.

"I'm pretty excited. I applied and then they selected us, [getting the email to say he had made it] was pretty cool."

James was eager to make the most of the opportunity.

"We play the Chinese under-19 team, we're over there for a week and I think we're playing every day. I'm looking forward to the experience, [the Chinese golfers] will be pretty good.

"I just need to focus on my own game and not worry about them too much. I've been working on my iron play, it's been pretty average lately ... just going to the driving range and to my coach and making sure everything's in the right place.

"I want to win and just embrace the experience."

He recently played at the New Zealand Open qualifiers in Queenstown, he did not qualify and was impressed by the quality of the other golfers.

"You have to play good, you can't catch up if you fall behind. They don't make many mistakes."


Meanwhile, James is not the only young golfer at Rotorua Boys' High School in top form. Last month the team of Reef Pohatu, Nikau Wihapi-Priest, Joshua Robinson and Riley Sutherland won the Super 8 Golf Championship by 27 shots.

The Rotorua Boys' High School Super 8 winning golf team Reef Pohatu (left), Nikau Wihapi-Priest, Joshua Robinson and Riley Sutherland. Photo / Supplied
The Rotorua Boys' High School Super 8 winning golf team Reef Pohatu (left), Nikau Wihapi-Priest, Joshua Robinson and Riley Sutherland. Photo / Supplied

The championship, held in Napier, comprised three rounds and the Rotorua Boys' team finished with a combined gross score of 692. Napier Boys' High School were second with 719 and Tauranga Boys' College were third with 721.

Riley produced the best individual score of the championship with 218 owed by Napier's Robson Tarrant (221) and Hamilton's Logan Madden (229).

Rotorua Boys' High School director of golf Jared Pender said, in wet and windy conditions, the team showed great patience.

"They showed a lot of ticker, the weather was real bad on the first two days, it was shocking - wet and freezing. They coped well, I think being prepared well for all sorts of conditions really helps.

"The most impressive thing was their patience, I was trying to really drill that in. Not many people are going to go really good in that weather."

He said the Rotorua Boys' team were seven shots up after the first round, but to keep them on track he told them they were one behind.

"Straight away you could kind of see a little bit of a head-down, tail-up attitude. If I was to say 'you guys are way in front', the guard might've dropped a little bit. They really played well, even the young boy Nikau, it was his first year there and he's not quite up to the level the other boys are yet, but he played really well."

Next up for the Rotorua Boys' team is the Bay of Plenty Secondary School Championship on April 1 at the Omanu Golf Club, which they need to win to qualify for the New Zealand Secondary School Golf Finals in Cromwell in September.

Super 8 Golf Placings
1st Rotorua Boys' High School
2nd Napier Boys' High School
3rd Tauranga Boys' College
4th Hamilton Boys' High School
5th= Palmerston North Boys' High School
5th= New Plymouth Boys' High School
7th Hastings Boys' High School
8th Gisborne Boys' High School (Did not attend)

Top Four Individual Leaderboard
1st Riley Sutherland (Rotorua Boys') 218
2nd Robson Tarrant (New Plymouth Boys') 221
3rd Logan Madden (Hamilton Boys') 229
4th Sebastian Kettle (Napier Boys') 230