Multiple Whanganui women's open golf champion Tara Raj has won the Ruth Middleton Open in Matamata off the back of a gutsy third in the New Zealand Women's Foursome on the same track last week.

The Ruth Middleton event is a longstanding open celebrating the deeds of the former New Zealand women's representative player from a bygone era and the trophy boasts some impressive names of past winners including Lydia Ko.

The weekend lived up to the hype with three days of golf at the Matamata Golf Club.
After 42mm of rain recorded on Thursday the chances of playing 36 holes of golf on Friday didn't look possible.

But as Friday dawned the rain gave way to clouds and a few passing showers and the New Zealand Foursomes got underway. The top six combined handicap pairs teed off in the final two groups and after two rounds No 1 seeds Fiona Xu and Anna An proved to be too strong with rounds of 73, 73 to take out the 2019 title.

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Runners-up and silver medallists were Gain Ju and Amy Im who were a shot back with 75, 72 and bronze went to Lizzie Neale from Nelson and Raj from Whanganui with 74, 77.

This is the ninth year Matamata has hosted this event.

The Ruth Middleton event began on Saturday morning with 78 players starting in a shotgun start. Coolish conditions prevailed for most of the day but these conditions didn't affect the young stars of today.

Xu lead the field after 36 holes at 5 under par (70, 69) followed by Raj tied on -2 (71, 71) with Eunseo Choi (69, 73). Top seed and NZ rep Carmen Lim was 7th (76, 69).

The Sunday morning start was delayed by frost and the champion wasn't decided until the last hole.

The just turned 16-year-old Raj parred the final hole to post a score of 210 (71, 71, 68) to defeat Xu by one shot 211 (70, 69, 72).

The Middleton family are major sponsors of this event in memory of their late mother.

This year older brother Miles and wife Peggy flew up from Christchurch to speak on behalf of the family and present the cup to Raj.

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