The New Zealand National Final of the World Corporate Golf Challenge was played at Clearwater Golf Club, Harewood, Christchurch on Friday 30 May. The winners, who earn a trip to Sotogrande, Spain in July for the World Final were Clearwater members John Plato and Will Dawber representing Plato Design. Best of luck in Spain, guys!
On a day that could not have been better suited for this event, a quiet calm forgiving Clearwater day preceded by a mild frost 20 teams meet the starter at 12.30 for a shot gun 5 tee start for this NZ final. 4 Auckland teams made the pilgrimage south including last year’s champions and 2013 Carrick Golf Course World Finalists Robbie Simmonds and partner Mark Jackson and Licensee hopes were for a Jafa victory.
Clearwater, a Bob Charles designed layout and home to a number of NZ PGA men’s and ladies events. can prove exceptionally difficult if the southerly, easterly or norwester winds prevail; today was a day however for the club golfer to thoroughly appreciate and many did.
Despite these tranquil conditions early scoring was not easy on a course playing its full yardage of 6138 meters off the back (but not right back Blue tees). The strategic location of water (lakes) makes driving on the fairways a premium on this par 72 layout . One could be forgiven for thinking that many teams had their eyes on WCGC World final destination, Sotogrande, Spain, early in their rounds.
Early local predictions were that 70/68 points would be very competitive and this looked to be around par until eventual winners Team Plato Creative comprising John Plato (29 points) and his webdesigner partner Will Dawber (47 Points) didn’t need any wind assistance to blow away all opposition and officials with a combined team score of 76.
In 2nd equal position were the teams of Joe Mullins / James Mullins (Gierra Progressive Real Estate) 70 points on a count back from Rob Simmonds and Mark Jackson (The Green Homies), a sizeable gap to Mathew Wright and Troels Nielsen 64 points.
5th place to Jerry Grocott and Ron Kroening 63 points with Bruce Gasson and Niven Boyle completing the prize table winners on 62 points.
A wonderful day’s golf, superbly run by Clearwater local Golf Event promoter Mike Godinet, Golf Shop manager Ingrid Cadenhead and Clearwater CEO Andrew Bell.
The Auckland Jafas (a local colloquial term of endearment from their Wonderful Canterbury hosts) returned back home pledged to return and be victors on another day.