The Whitehaven Wines Marlborough Pro-Am produced a strong test for all, with the southerly blast experienced by most of the country not escaping Blenheim.

Two players, Harry Bateman and Fraser MacLachlan put together two quite different rounds on their way to shooting even par 72’s, which would be the best on this challenging day.

It is usual that the pro-am events feature a shotgun start, with Bateman as one of the pre-tournament favourites starting from the 1st tee. Bateman was always hovering around par, with an early birdie on the 2nd, followed by a bogey on the 3rd, which is one of the most challenging par-4's anywhere measuring 428m and playing into the strong southerly. The challenge of playing into the wind also resulted in a bogey on the par-5 6th and the par-4 9th holes, but a tidy birdie on the 8th produced a front nine of one over par 37. Bateman then hung on to his one-over par score until a nice birdie down the tight 14th hole followed by pars to post 72.

Fraser MacLachlan, like almost every player in the field, battled early. His starting hole was the 3rd, where bogey was the average for the day. A birdie followed on the 4th, but he followed that with a bogey on the par-3 5th. Further bogeys followed on the 11th and 16th holes leaving him three over par with four holes to play, but with all playing with wind advantage. A birdie on the 17th provided momentum and then facing the par-5 1st, his penultimate hole, he made a superb eagle returning him to even par. A comfortable par on the dangerous 2nd resulted in a score of 72 and a joint win in the Whitehaven Wines Marlborough Pro-Am.

Tyler Hodge continued his excellent form with third place and a steady round of 73.

The pro-am circuit now moves to Kaikoura for 36-holes over the weekend.