Liam Hewitt has broken a long-standing drought to become the first Southlander in 40 years to win the New Zealand Age Group Championship.
The win didn’t come without drama as Hewitt had to go into a playoff with Wellington’s Jayden Ford at the end of regular tournament play at Cromwell Golf Club. The two couldn’t be separated at six-under for the event.
A par on the second playoff hole was good enough for Hewitt to win the New Zealand Age Groups; the biggest win of his young career.
“This means the world to me. It’s definitely my biggest achievement so far and I’m over the moon my name is on this trophy. Getting it done in a playoff isn’t easy on the nerves, but I thought I handled everything pretty well today.
“Looking at the trophy, it looks like 1978 was the last Southlander to get their hands on this trophy. I’d like to think I’ve done Southland Golf proud and hopefully have inspired a few kids to get into the game,” says Hewitt.
He shot rounds of 74, 66, and 70.
On the girl’s side of the draw, Wellington’s Darae Chung has won the New Zealand Age Groups by a single stroke over overnight leader, Fiona Xu.
Chung carded rounds of 69, 65, and 72 to finish at 10-under par for the tournament around Millbrook.
“I played so well this week. I composed myself really well.
“I’ve struggled for the last few months and I’ve worked hard to get my game back where it needs to be. All of the hard work has paid off this week,” Chung says.
The week certainly drew up some drama, and we’re left with two very worthy champions.