It was hard to avoid the Ryder Cup even if golf didn't figure in your top rung of sporting interests.

The biennial duel between Europe and the United States oozed with storylines about the captains' wildcard selections to team chemistry and players' ability to deal with different course layouts on either side of the Atlantic.

Passionate crowds blanketed the rolling landscape of the Golf Nationale course in southwest Paris to watch the Americans lose their way on, then off, the course as the European side rolled to an impressive victory to dominate the sports pages. There was also a sadder note as the event reached a wider news community after a female spectator was hit in the eye by an errant tee shot.

All that concentration on golf in France obscured a remarkable result from 23-year-old Kiwi golfer Nick Voke, who won his second title in consecutive tournaments on the PGA Tour in China.


Outstanding young golfers proliferate the planet and their ability is well-known to their wider families, coaches and contemporaries. It's not so apparent to those of us outside those close networks who don't indulge in scoring every leader-board and golfing academy chart round the globe.

Voke is from Auckland and as a useful age-group football player was keen to stay with that code until he missed one selection. At the suggestion of a friend's father, Voke reluctantly tried golf at the nine-hole Wattle Downs course and was soon hooked on the game.

He was picked to play in the Junior World Series at Torrey Pines in 2012 and then polished his game in a college career after a troubled start as a freshman when he broke his collarbone in a skateboarding accident. Voke graduated from Iowa State University before turning pro and finishing seventh in the NZ Open in March.

Last month he tied for fourth in his first tournament start in China, won his second event when he holed a lengthy putt in a playoff and won again this week in Macau.

His repeat victory was obscured by the trans-Atlantic drama in France but it was just as memorable for Voke.

He began the last round three shots behind the leaders and had a mixed first nine before stoking a home run with two birdies and an impressive eagle on the 17th hole when he reached the par five in two then drained his 30-foot eagle putt. "I knew a two-putt would be huge. I just hit a good putt with good speed, and it managed to find its way to the
bottom of the hole," he said.

In only three events Voke has scorched up the money-list into third place to trail two Americans who have both played a dozen tournaments.

If Voke continues to hold onto a top five earnings finish when the season ends after two more tournaments he will have earned an automatic place on next year's tour in the States. He also has a shot at history because no player has won three tournaments in a row in China.


He puts his recent success down to improved driving, more consistent mid-range putting and better course management. He worked out his best scoring approach for the course in Macau and stuck to that strategy in four consistent rounds.

"I made a really good birdie on the 15th hole and then on the 17th fairway, I thought a birdie would put me in a tie for the lead and I managed to roll in a putt for eagle," he said.

"I thought I was one ahead going into the last and then just secured a really solid par, so I'm over the moon."

The next fortnight will be equally testing for Voke, who teed it up overnight for the start of the Zhuhan Championship in China before his final event next week in Hong Kong when he plays in the Clearwater Bay Open.

The game has been very rewarding to him in the last month and whatever happens he plans to learn as much as he can in the final two weeks of the season.