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Taking home the cash

Masterton Golf Club board chairman Rob Blackett hitting his $500 winning shot at the Masterton-Eketahuna Pro-Am on Saturday. PHOTO/ELI HILL


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Masterton golfer Rob Blackett had plenty of reasons to smile on Saturday.

The Masterton Golf Club chairman had not only played a part in organising the two-day Masterton-Eketahuna Pro-Am, but he’d also he’d also won Saturday’s $500 shootout, beating 11 other golfers, many of them professional, to the prize.

Held in moderately windy conditions, after tournament play had finished, the shootout had amateurs and professionals who’d qualified try to land their golf ball as close to the 11th hole as possible in just one shot.

Blackett selected a nine-iron club for the shot, landing his ball approximately a metre short of the hole to win the prize.

The amateur golfer said his biggest concern had been ‘shanking the shot.’

“I was quite worried about standing up there and hitting the ball right into the crowd which wouldn’t have been good.”

Blackett said he already knew where the prize money was going.

“I did say to my wife when I left this morning, I said I’ll bring you home the 500 bucks, so now I will – she’ll be so excited.”

He was full of praise for both the Eketahuna course and the tournament sponsors.

“I play at Masterton quite regularly but don’t often get up here.

“It’s a fantastic course, the greens are great, and everyone’s enjoyed it.”

Tournament convener Jack Boettcher said it was impossible to predict the outcome of the shoot-off.

“The shootout is a gambling hole really, you’re around 120 metres out and you just have to take your chances.”

“I understand it was really close between Rob and our lady golfer Grace Senior, who’s the first woman pro we’ve had on this course in the tournament’s history.”

The Masterton-Eketahuna Pro-Am was a three ball, best ball stableford competition which had 34 teams of three amateurs pairing up with one pro player each.

Team Eketahoons ended Saturday in first place with 129 points.

The team comprised Rob Cameron, Michael Wyeth, and Ewen Cameron, with pro Woonchul Na.

Second-equal place on 119 points were The Lone Rangers and Brushstrokz.

In the pro standings Justin Morris was ahead on 64 [seven under par] followed by Keiran Mair on 65 with Oscar Cadenhead and Mark Hutson in a tie for third on 67.

Boettcher said that despite a little wind the Eketahuna side of the PGA event had been excellent.

“This is Eketahuna, so conditions are normal here, it was a little bit gusty so some of the pros and even some of the amateurs found it a little bit difficult.”

“But otherwise it was a good tournament, and everyone enjoyed themselves.”

The second day of play was held in Masterton on Sunday.

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