Auckland Trainee Professional Mason Lee has won the Cello Invitational South Island Qualifying event, defeating Kazuma Kobori in a playoff and extending his PGA Pro-Am Series Order of Merit lead.

Lee and Kobori couldn’t be separated following 36 holes of Gross Stableford at Pegasus Golf Club and Clearwater Golf Club on Monday and Tuesday, both finishing with 80 stableford points, the equivalent of shooting eight-under-par.

The Cello Invitational is New Zealand’s premier Pro-Am, which boasts an impressive $100,000 prize purse and provides a unique opportunity for PGA professionals to connect with business leaders in the technology and telecommunications industries. The South Island Qualifier is the second opportunity for players to earn their spot in the field following the Cello NZPGA Club Professional Championship earlier in the year.

The Royal Auckland and Grange trainee, Lee, recorded a bogey-free round of seven under for 43 points on the opening day at Pegasus to lead, which included an impressive stretch of holes on the back nine, where he birdied 13, 14, 15, 16, and 18 in a stiff southerly breeze.

After Kobori’s 39 stableford points on the first day, he entered round two with a boost of confidence after finding out he’d received a special invitation into the PGA Championship following his PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit triumph. Paired with the round one leader, Kobori applied pressure on Lee by making six birdies and a bogey to record 41 stableford points, tying Lee who finished with 37 stableford points in the second round.

The pair went back down the iconic par 4 18th where Lee proceeded to hit two perfect shots before rolling in a four-foot birdie putt to win, after Kobori’s 20-foot birdie attempt slid by.

Lee’s third Pro-Am victory of the year has boosted him more than 3,000 points clear in the season-long points standings, sitting ahead of Nick Coxon with 17,476.44 points.

Jake Meenhorst and Matt McLean finished in a share of third with 78 stableford points. McLean and his amateur partner Aidan Christie won the 2BBB Team’s event with a total of 93 points.

The next qualifying opportunity for Professionals will be in a North Island Qualifying Pro Am at Te Arai Links in October 15th & 16th

Full list of qualifiers:

Top Professional in the 2BBB:

  • Matt McLean (93 Pts)


  • Kazuma Kobori (80 Pts)
  • Jake Meenhorst (78 Pts)
  • Gareth Paddison (77 Pts)


  • Mason Lee (80 Pts)
  • Tara Raj (74 Pts)

To see the full results, click here

To learn more about Cello, click here

To see the Pro Am series Order of Merit, click here