Two sudden-death playoffs to decide the winner among the blokes and a brother who came agonisingly close to emulating the feat of his sister.

Those were some of the endearing moments when the annual 54-hole Kapi Tareha Memorial Tournament concluded at a sun-drenched Napier Golf Club today.

Daniel Pearce, of Hastings, and Tyler Hodge, of Levin, had to reload twice on the par-4 No 18 hole to separate them in the professional field of nine.

Pearce birdied twice but Hodge had to settle for a par in his second attempt, after the pair were tied on 216 after three rounds.


"It's been a good weekend so it's great to be out here playing in the nice weather for a bit of fun," said the 30-year-old winner who carded 81 but reeled in 67 yesterday before backing it up with a 68 this afternoon.

"I'm not used to playing 36 holes in one day so I struggled a little bit yesterday afternoon but I got some sleep last night and played a little better today," he said, happy with his putting.

Pearce, who never won the Kapi Tareha as an amateur, became the inaugural professional champion after the tourney included them for the prize of a $1500 Countdown vouchers to boost its profile in the hope of becoming a leg of the Jennian Homes Charles Tour.

However, the winner of the Jennian Homes Trophy, when the Charles Tour circuit ended in April, is at the crossroads of his professional career as he contemplates continuing.

"I've got some big decisions to make on my golf career on whether I should continue to play or look at other options," he said as wife Sarah, an accomplished track athlete, is expecting their second child on September 26. The couple have a 1-year-old daughter, Lola Joyce.

Pearce jets off at the end of next week to ply his trade in the PGA Tour of China before spending some time to celebrate the arrival of their newborn girl. He heads off to Australia after that.

"I spend a lot of time away travelling, obviously, with golf so I don't know if I enjoy it as much as I used to."

Pearce didn't know what he would do for a living although he was toying with some ideas but golfing wasn't in the equation if he quits.


Hodge, who carded a steady 72, 71, 73, ironically won the Kapi Tareha as an amateur when he beat Tony Russo, of Featherston, by five strokes in 2012.

That year Kate Chadwick, of Napier, and Emma Clayton, of Palmerston North, created history in sharing the women's bragging rights after they ran out of daylight in the maiden sudden-death playoffs in any category of the tourney. They couldn't be separated after two sudden-death holes.

Levin professional Tyler Hodge had sister Brydie Hodge, the women's Kapi Tareha amateur champion, lugging his bag at Napier Golf Club today. Photo/Duncan Brown
Levin professional Tyler Hodge had sister Brydie Hodge, the women's Kapi Tareha amateur champion, lugging his bag at Napier Golf Club today. Photo/Duncan Brown

A laughing Hodge, who turned professional three years ago, said it would have been nice to back an amateur crown with a pro one as well as hit the road with his beaming sister, Brydie Hodge, who had earlier won the women's amateur crown.

"We've had a couple of same-day wins but she one-upped me today," he said of his 21-year-old sibling who lugged his bag during sudden-death play. "She's beaten me on the scoreboard. Maybe I'll do it the next time."

Reflecting on his par, after his lob-wedge approach fell about 5m shy from the edge of the green and the pin. Pearce had cracked a shuddering drive that fell about 20m shy of the green for a 2m putt. Hodge's chip just missed the hole by a ball width.

"Whether it's [7m] short of the green or [7m] longer, it doesn't really matter because my short game's not too bad so I was expecting to hole both. He [Pearce] made two good birdies so good on him."

Hodge was simply happy to be out playing because of a two-month hiatus.

"I've just been working in town at an eel factory because pro golf isn't cheap so you've got to fund yourself somehow," he said, hoping to find enough funds to venture back on tour.

Tauranga professional Sean Blomquist finished third, a shot adrift on 217, ahead of Te Pohue counterpart Doug Holloway who carded 220.

The only female professional, Sara Deam, of Puketitiri, carded 230 in sixth place, behind Andrew Jones, of Hastings, on 222.

Brydie, playing off a three handicap, also said she wasn't playing as much as she used to so it was nice to receive some positive reinforcement today.

"We've done it a couple of times [win together] but he's a pro now and I'm an amateur so this is a different event that we both can come to and play in together," she said of Hodge.

Brydie drew inspiration from her brother when younger but now competes because of the love of the game and harboured no intentions of turning professional.

"He's a very good player and he can do a lot of different things."

Winner Stuart Duff (left) shakes hands with Tyson Tawera after the sudden-death hole playoff in amateur men's section of the Kapi Tareha tourney in Napier today. Photo/Duncan Brown
Winner Stuart Duff (left) shakes hands with Tyson Tawera after the sudden-death hole playoff in amateur men's section of the Kapi Tareha tourney in Napier today. Photo/Duncan Brown

New Zealand Masters Open champion Stuart Duff was tied on 216 with after 54 holes with fellow Hastings amateur Tyson Tawera.

But it took one sudden-death hole for Duff to etch his name on the Kapi Tareha trophy for the second time, following up from the then 72-hole strokeplay event by eight strokes over Lachie McDonald, of Palmerston North, in 2015.

The Lindisfarne College teacher, on a plus-one handicapper, carded 74, 69, 73 while scratchie Tyson scored 71, 72, 73.

"I had to play the same hole in the 54th hole and I completely mucked it up so it was relief to hit a decent one," said a beaming Duff.

The Hasting Golf club member said when two players were that close it came down to a luck of the draw after Tyson made a bogey and he birdied in the sudden-death hole so he was had counted his blessings today.

"I hit the ball pretty well and didn't make too many putts but I had to grind it out a lot for comfortable pars, I guess, all day. The only birdie I had in normal play was on the 17th."

Duff, who is in the New Zealand Seniors team to play in the Asia-Pacific Cup in Japan in October, said he was simply enjoying some competition.

Tyson, who works at a kohanga (Maori kindergarten), said he had tried to play a fade on the left side of the fairway in the sudden-death hole but pulled it into the trees a little too much.

"My second shot I had a branch hanging so I had to play a low shot but there was a ridge too ... so it was a tough up and down from there," said the Hawke's Bay Golf Club member who had his best finish in the tourney.

The 23-year-old Bay senior men's rep said he would return stronger.

"I've had a few battles with Duffy before so he's been on top of those battles as well," he said of his former Hastings club pennants partner before crossing the divide to his new club to become the No 1 seed there.

He will represent the province against Poverty Bay this Sunday at his home course before facing Manawatu at Dannevirke the following weekend.