Whanganui Bridge Club dealt out its biggest tournament of the year on Sunday, attracting a strong hand of entries.

The open grade tourney pulled in more than 50 card players from as far afield as Wellington, Hawke's Bay, New Plymouth, Hutt Valley and Palmerston North.

The 26 pairs battled it out over three rounds, with 21 boards played in each round, and club president Graham Wood described it as a "very good field" with a number of highly-ranked players.

After a long day, Whanganui's Steve Baron and former New Zealand representative Pam Livingston, from New Plymouth, trumped the lot with a 60.98 per cent success rate - pretty good as it was the first time they had played together.

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Whanganui pair Pat and Martin Oysten came second, with Sharon Mosley - from Waverley but a Whanganui club member - and Jan Whyte (Palmerston North) third.

The tournament was sponsored by Ryman Healthcare's Jane Winstone Retirement Village, with cash prizes for the winners.

The club, based by Victoria Park in Parsons St, also has friendly events, and junior and graded bridge tournaments, and Wood said it had been boosted recently by more than 30 beginners coming along to take advantage of free lessons the club offers.