Wellingtonian Champions at 2019 NZ Maori National Championships

Congratulations to the 2019 NZ Maori Golf Association Champions , Wellingtonians Te Rongopai Clay (strokeplay) and Mia Scrimgeour (matchplay).

Shot of a champion, Michael Campbell tells winner

Wellington golfer Mia Scrimgeour received the ultimate accolade after winning the women’s division of the New Zealand Maori golf tournament in Taupo yesterday.

The tournament was played at the Centennial course of the Taupo Golf Club and in an all-Wellington final Scrimgeour, from Manor Park, was one up over her opponent Te Rongopai Clay from Titahi going to the last hole.

The 18th hole is no easy task, being a 134-metre par three over a gully and Clay hit her tee shot to the right of the green and into the semi-rough.

Scrimgeour stepped up and hit her tee shot to within about 10 feet of the hole to basically ensure victory.

Watching the final was comeback professional golfer Michael Campbell who just a couple of days earlier at the tournament had been announced as an inductee to the Maori Golf Association’s hall of fame.

Scrimgeour said Campbell was impressed by her final tee shot and told her so afterwards.

``He said that was a shot of a champion,’’ Scrimgeour proudly recalled.

Scrimgeour admitted to nerves during the final but said it was ``good nerves.’'

``Obviously a win was going to mean a lot to me and I really wanted to win.’'

Scrimgeour, 15, has been playing golf since she was aged five and represented Wellington in age group events from age nine.

Last month the one handicapper stepped up to the open grade when she was part of the Wellington team at the prestigious Interprovincial Championships in Christchurch.

Scrimgeour recalled her introduction to golf by following her father when he played with workmates and friends.

``I only just tagged along to begin with,’’ Scrimgeour said.

``Then I started playing and he stopped playing when I started beating him.’’

Scrimgeour had to work hard in the final. She found herself three down after six holes but said she remained positive because she had not played badly.

A turning point in the game came on the par five 11th hole when Scrimgeour hit her tee shot into the long grass. She chipped out and then piped a four wood to 1-1/2 feet from the hole to score a birdie four.