Unseasonally warm (20°C) met the 18 qualifying teams who assembled at the Clearwater Golf Resort for this year’s New Zealand final of the World Corporate Gold Challenge. The final mix saw a medley of 8 qualifying teams, 4x Christchurch, 3x Auckland and 1x Wellington, these 8 being accompanied by 10 Sponsors’ teams from ICFrith, Yale, NZME, JK’s World of Golf, ARA Wines, Malaysia Airlines, GT Radials, Peppers Restaurants, Rosebank Business Association, and Spark Business.
The Clearwater Resort, host to the NZ Women’s Open in 2015 (won by world no 1 Lydia Koh) was as expected in pristine condition and much anticipation was evident as the teams commenced play. Little wind was evident early but after an hour’s play a 30 knot Nor-Wester blew in and stayed for the duration of the round and dominated playing conditions from that point. As one competitor remarked, “the Wind and Course owned us today”, and this was never more evident than in the scoring where no team played to their combined handicap of 72 points, the best being 66 points from the Christchurch qualifying team of Steve McCormick and Clarke Baldwin each with 33 points.
Both players will be very worthy NZ representatives travelling to Cascais in Portugal in late June/early July. Here they will be teamed up with 30 other International teams from all parts of the globe in what will be a very memorable occasion for all Sponsors, Players, Licensees and Global WCGC management. The anticipation and excitement of this year’s event is evidenced by some email responses already received today.
We congratulate the Clearwater Golf Club Golf Operations Manager Ingrid Cadenhead and her partner Mike Godinet for managing and producing such a fine event.
For both NZWCGC licensees Gibson and Godinet this year’s final has signalled a turning point in the progress of the NZ Event. And both are keenly looking forward to seeing you all in Cascais.
Some Sponsors and players have already committed to next year’s events where I’m sure considerable further progress will be made in growing this event – hopefully one day NZ will be capable of hosting the World Final. “Bring it on!!” sits comfortably within our mindset. And with John Key NZ’s Prime Minister (Minister of Tourism) becoming an accomplished 14/15 handicapper, who knows what can be achieved?