BOP pro Ropiha on top at Wai­tangi

The Northland Age - - Sport -

Bay of Plenty pro­fes­sional Troy Ropiha won the fi­nal leg of the NZPGA’s North­ern Swing, claim­ing the Wai­tangi Pro-Am Ti­tle.

Prior the Ramada Re­sort by Wyn­d­ham Reia Taipa Beach tour­na­ment wrap­ping up the se­ries at Wai­tangi last Thurs­day, some very low scores had been recorded at pre­vi­ous events held at other North­land cour­ses dur­ing the past week.

How­ever, higher than pre­dicted winds made the Wai­tangi course chal­leng­ing for some of the best pro golfers New Zealand has to of­fer.

Ropiha’ s six-un­der 66 was one shot bet­ter than the chas­ing trio of Den­zel Ieremia (Waikato), Mark Hut­son (North Har­bour) and Luke Toomey (also Waikato) could man­age. If the wind wasn’t enough, each of the 25 pro­fes­sion­als play­ing were teamed up with three am­a­teur play­ers, with Ropiha lead­ing a com­bined Kerik­eri team to take the brag­ging rights as the tour­na­ment’s team cham­pi­ons for 2019.

Many lo­cal busi­nesses spon­sored holes and en­tered teams in the event, which not only put up the prize purse for the pro­fes­sion­als com­pet­ing but also went to­wards the Wai­tangi club’s new ju­nior pro­gramme. Raf­fle draws and an auc­tion for golf at Kauri Cliffs, along with stays at the ma­jor spon­sor’s var­i­ous re­sort prop­er­ties, saw the pro­gramme ben­e­fit by in ex­cess of $2200.

The top 10 teams were, the com­bined en­try of Ali Baba’s Fly­ing Car­pets & Bar­foot and Thomp­son Real Es­tate Kerik­eri; Nerdy’s Com­put­ers; Fell En­gi­neer­ing; NZME; Bonno’s Boys; Stiff Shafts; North­land Forestry Nurs­eries; Pi­o­neer Wa­ter­front Apart­ments; Korowha Cater­ing Ltd and David Reid Homes.

Some well played tee shots among the ama­teurs on Wai­tangi’s par-three holes saw a near­est-the-pin prize taken home by Ellen Wright, with fur­ther ac­cu­racy prizes for Bron­son Sil­veira on hole No 9; Penny Boles No 10 and Phil Snell No 16.

Jackie Thomp­son (mid­dle) presents Kerik­eri with the team tro­phy at the fi­nal leg of the NZPGA’s North­ern Swing se­ries at Wai­tangi last Thurs­day. From left: Hay­den Clark, Colin Tay­lor, Troy Ropiha and Alis­tair Har­grove.

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