For the second time in a week, 20-year-old James Tauariki has won on the NZPGA pro-am circuit.

Today the stop was Clearwater where players on the Spark-sponsored day were met with a wind strong enough to make scoring a challenge. These formats often include a shotgun start and Tauariki was straight out of the blocks with a birdie on his first hole, the tough 413m par-4 13th. A steady run followed before adding another birdie at the par-5 2nd, but a tough pin on the short 3rd resulted in his only bogey of the day. A birdie four at the 5th followed by a closing seven pars returned an excellent two under par 70. He was thrilled to get one up on his coach Josh Geary, who finished two strokes behind.

Harewood club professional Craig Mitchell paid tribute to a tip from long-time coaching legend Wayne Davies for his excellent driving display. Mitchell started at the 2nd with a par, birdied the 3rd, 5th and 6th, adding a bogey in the middle to be two under par early. A bogey at the 12th was offset with a birdie at the par-5 14th, keeping him well in contention. Standing on his last hole, he needed a birdie to win. A perfect drive left him with a short iron to the green, but a sloppy approach and a resulting bogey proved to be costly.

This was a strong field as reflected in the players that finished in a tie for third. Mahal Pearce rarely plays these events, but it was great to have him involved, and he left very satisfied with a par round of 72. He was joined by local professional Carl Brooking and two of the best in Luke Toomey and Josh Geary.

We now look forward to the DVS Clearwater Open on the Charles Tour which starts Friday.

Photo: 2022 Spark Clearwater Pro-Am winner James Tauariki with Sam Thumath from Spark.