Joshua Carmichael has enjoyed a dream golfing road trip after winning the Port Taranaki Open by one shot from good friend Hamish Robertson in cool conditions today.
The 30-year-old fired a three under par 69 in the final round of the Charles Tour event to come from behind and post a 10 under par total in what was a survival of the fittest of 36 holes on Saturday.
Two rounds were played today to avoid the wild weather forecast for tomorrow and has been synonymous with the Port Taranaki Open. Carmichael was the last man standing, claiming four titles in 10 days.
"I am elated, relieved and just absolutely stoked to win this title," said Carmichael, who moves to the top of the NZ PGA order of merit with his $7200 win.
A Carmichael win looked unlikely with Robertson four shots up with seven holes to play. The Taihape professional still had a birdie chance on the 18th green but couldn't convert from 15 feet.
Carmichael endured a rollercoaster final 36 holes on Saturday that included a disastrous triple bogey in round three on the 12th. He played flawless golf on the final nine holes - a five under par 31 to get home.
"With everything I went through today, I just can't believe it was my day," he said. "I made doubles and triples but I kept hanging in there, trying to catch up. It was a nice surprise that it was enough."
It has been an incredible run for the likeable pro who grew up playing his golf at the Pupuke Golf Club on Auckland's North Shore. He won the $20,000 Wanganui Pro-am, the $10,000 Hawera Pro-am, the pro-am on Wednesday and now he claims first prize in the $40,000 Port Taranaki Open.
"It has been a wicked stretch of golf. A dream road trip. I don't know what to say but I am really stoked."
Many winners of the Port Taranaki Open have gone on to achieve bigger and better things. Mark Brown won in 2006 and progressed to win the Johnnie Walker Championship on the European Tour. Brad Iles claimed the title in 2007 and is now playing on the Nationwide Tour. Michael Hendry won in 2009 and last year won the Indonesian Open on the One Asia Tour.
Carmichael hopes he can follow that pathway to success in his upcoming trip to play the Tahiti Open and then the Australasian Tour.
Robertson, from Taihape, who led Jim Cusdin and Johnathon Ratcliffe by one shot heading into the final round after a superb six under par 66, was gutted with his final round 73.
"It was a hard day because I had no idea where I stood. It was like I was playing in the dark. Now that I know it is pretty gutting to come so close and not win one of these again. But I am proud of how I played. I played decently all week and Josh must have played well to shoot 69."
Waikato professional Mark Purser fired a three under par 69 to finish third. Te Awamutu pro Brad Shilton managed the joint low score of the final round (68) to finish fourth and Waikato pro Jim Cusdin had a disappointing three over 75 to claim fifth.
Auckland amateur Johnathon Ratcliffe, the overnight leader after rounds of 67 and 66, had a forgettable final round 80 to finish in a share of 15th place.
Local Brad Hayward finished in a share of sixth place with rounds of 70, 72, 69 and 72 to claim the men's amateur honours.
There was a battle for the women's title, which saw Emily Perry overcome Charlotte Thomas for consecutive wins on the Charles Tour.