By BOB PEARCE



Howard Broun was in a New Zealand Davis Cup tennis team with Onny Parun and Brian Fairlie.



He won a national squash title and played in a Kiwi team who finished second in the world championships.



Now he is bidding to join golf legend Sir Bob Charles on the senior circuit in the United States.

Advertisement


A former Aucklander, Broun has lived for the past 20 years in Calgary, Canada, where he moved to coach squash. He later bought the club.



There had never been much time for golf in the squash and tennis days, but Broun did join the Remuera Golf Club as a junior member.



In Calgary, he played on public courses before joining the respected Earl Grey Club, which he likens a bit to Middlemore.



When he sold the squash club seven years ago, golf became his passion, and showing the natural talent which made him a squash and tennis star, he quickly became a contender in Alberta amateur tournaments.



He won an Alberta mid-amateur for players over 40 and played in four or five Canadian amateur championships.



When he turned 50 he set his sights on the lucrative seniors tour, which has made a lot of older golfers very wealthy men.



Not surprisingly, his aspirations are shared by hundreds of others. Only the superstars turn 50 and start teeing up for their next million.



There is an annual qualifying tour school, but Broun missed out through illness. The alternative is the weekly one-round shootout.



"There are between 100 and 144 players in Monday qualifying, trying for four spots in that week's tournament," said Broun, while back in Auckland for Christmas.



"It's a real mixture. There are pros who've been on and off the tour over the years, others who are quite good players but have spent their working years in club jobs, and amateurs who have kept their game in good shape.



"Each week there are 40 to 50 who can really play - and just four spots for them to play for."



Even that can be cut back. When Gary McCord and Christie O'Connor came into tournaments on sponsor's invitations and won, the Monday men were playing for only two spots.



Broun played a limited programme in the past season. He got into the main event at Las Vegas and won $US924 and was first alternate for two others.



From next month he and his South African-born wife, Caroline, will set off in their motorhome with car towed behind to tilt at around 20 tournaments.



"About 10 guys on the main tour do it that way. You can't get to all the tournaments but you see a lot of the country and you meet some nice people," he said.



Broun reckons the commitment is worthwhile. Given his record in tennis and squash, it would be unwise to bet against him.