2018 NZ Strokeplay set to go at Paraparaumu Beach

Hutson & Hillier Headline New Zealand Stroke Play

Defending champion Mark Hutson and in-form local Daniel Hillier headline the prestigious New Zealand Stroke Play Championship this week at ‘the course that tamed Tiger,’ while a new champion will be crowned in the women’s field on Sunday.

From March 22-25 the Kapiti Coast will have the chance to witness the country’s leading golfers at the Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club as Hutson attempts to go back-to-back titles in one of the biggest events in the calendar. 

The North Harbour number one claimed the biggest title of his career at the Hastings Golf Club last year and will have to be at his best once again if he is to copy and paste his name on the trophy with a strong field in attendance.

 “It’s exciting to be defending champion this week, but I have to focus on the challenge ahead because it won’t be easy with the quality of players here,” said Hutson.

Wellington’s very own Daniel Hillier will not only have the local knowledge, but has the form to back it up after winning the Bledisloe Cup earlier this month for finishing lead amateur at the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open in Queenstown. Hillier produced a phenomenal third round of seven-under (64) at Millbrook Resort to announce himself as a future contender on the PGA Tour of Australasia and finished an exciting week in tied 23rd. This would be more than enough to send shivers up the spine of all 102 players teeing it up this week.

As per usual, the current New Zealand Amateur champion is calm and excited about the opportunity to add to his already impressive amateur CV and hold two of the country’s biggest titles on offer. “It’s always nice to be playing close to home where I have plenty of experience. I love the course here and it would be an awesome feeling to win both of the big ones,” said Hillier.

Joining the New Zealand Amateur Champion in an exciting young group is North Island Stroke Play winner, Charlie Smail and South Island Stroke Play champion, Mathew Tautari Jr.

Our most recent champion Hiroki Miya may have something to say about this after his victory on the Faldo Series in Vietnam earlier this month. The 17-year-old rising star from Canterbury continues to amaze and is certain to be a threat this week.

Popping over the hill will be New Zealand academy player Kerry Mountcastle who also looks to use his local knowledge as the Masterton man aims to claim his first national title.

The door is wide open in the women’s field as we search for a new champion at the ‘Spiritual Home of Golf’ with Amelia Garvey not here to defend her Mellsop Cup title which she won by a convincing six shots at Hastings Golf Club last year.

New Zealand Amateur Champion Silvia Brunotti features in the field as she also looks to hold aloft two of the country’s biggest trophies at the same time after her amazing victory at the Russley Golf Club earlier in the season. This won’t be an easy task with a large number of the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific squad members also lining up in the Kapiti Coast this week which includes Juliana Hung, Rose Zheng, Brittney Dryland and Caryn Khoo.

There will be plenty of time for the cream to rise to the top with no cut for the women this week, while the men’s cut will be 60 plus ties. The first ball gets struck at 8:00am tomorrow morning.