Hawke's Bay amateur Mako Thompson has added a second New Zealand Order of Merit title on the trot after claiming his maiden Kapi Tareha Memorial Trophy in Napier at the weekend.
Thompson had carded 69, 69, 71 to finish seven-under 209 at Napier Golf Club course yesterday for a six-stroke victory over former professional Tyler Hodge, of Levin, and James Fellows-Ford, of Hamilton, who were tied one-under par 215.
However, while the 20-year-old was delighted with his acquisition he reconciled it with not having met the nine-under target he had set with coach and Maraenui Golf Club professional Scott Overend.
"I fell a little bit short but to win by six strokes [was] really nice," said Thompson who had dropped a couple of shots at No 15 and No 16 holes in the final round of the 54-hole strokeplay event in a field of 66.
"The final round's always much harder with a little bit of added pressure so to shoot under par in the final round I was really happy," said the plus-3 handicapper who overcame the elements to become the Cambridge Classic men's champion a fortnight ago.
Before the Cambridge crown, he had claimed his third consecutive title of senior men's club champion at his Maraenui club in Napier.
"To win this week back-to-back New Zealand Order of Merit events is a great achievement and puts me in a great space going off to Oz," he said, saluting his caddy and good friend, Phil Dol, of Napier, and rating the Waiohiki course the "best I've ever seen it".
"He helped me keep my focus and stay strong mentally."
Thompson jets off to the Gold Coast on Wednesday where he'll compete at the Queensland Amateur Championship at Oxley GC on Tuesday next week.
Before his Kapi Tareha accolades yesterday, the 2017 New Zealand amateur representative champion had finished third at the marquee Hawke's Bay event in the past two years.
Thompson said his vivid footprints on the amateur circuit reaffirmed the incremental gains he was making on the way to carving a niche in the professional circuit.
He expects the Queensland environment to throw up different challenges, such as different grass types and ball-carrying distance, so he will warm up for four days in the hope of adapting although the calibre of the field would be higher, too.
"It'll be a good test so I'm really excited."
Hastings professional Daniel Pearce carded an equal 221 with Ewan Westergaard, of Manawatu, in fifth place while two-time New Zealand Masters amateur champion Stuart Duff, of Hastings, was a shot behind in equal position with Te Pohue professional Doug Holloway.