BOP pro Ropiha on top at Waitangi
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.