Rory McIlroy held off a spectacular final round charge from Tiger Woods to win the Honda Classic and take over as golf's new world number one. The 22-year-old McIlroy, winner of last year's U.S. Open, replaced Luke Donald at the top of the world rankings after a thrilling victory at the PGA National course. Only Woods, who finished tied for second with Tom Gillis on Sunday, reached number one at an earlier age. McIlroy started the last day with a two-shot lead and finished up winning by the same margin after shooting a final round of one-under-par 69 for a total of 12-under. The Northern Irishman looked to be cruising to victory until Woods charged up the leaderboard with a 62, his lowest final round score of his career, making an eagle at the last hole to briefly cut the margin to one stroke. But McIlroy, who had bogeyed the 12th, birdied the 13th to restore his two-shot advantage then kept his composure through the tricky 'Bear Trap' trio of holes to win his third PGA title. "It was tough today, especially seeing Tiger make a charge, seeing him post 10 under," said McIlroy. "To shoot one under in these conditions when you go in with the lead....I was just able to get the job done." Gillis, playing in the final group with McIlroy, birdied the final hole for a 69 and a tie for second place at 10-under. Britain's Lee Westwood, who held the number one ranking for 22 weeks in 2010 and 2011, finished outright fourth, two shots back at eight-under, after closing with a 63. South Africa's Charl Schwartzel, last year's Masters champion, tied with Britain's Justin Rose at seven-under.
Top level professional golf returns to Sir Michael Hill’s private course The Hills in 2012 with the New Zealand PGA Pro-Am Championship. Players and spectators alike will be treated to the unique challenges and stunning scenery of The Hills and its surroundings, as well as the attractions of New Zealand’s premier tourist destination, Queenstown.
The Hills is not only New Zealand’s most challenging tournament golf course, it is also a magnificent facility for spectators. Strategic vantage points enable you to follow several holes at a time, and public facilities are excellent and family friendly. Main Street, focusing on the finest of local food and wine, entertainment, tournament merchandise and areas for you, family and friends to relax in, is a central feature of the event. The venue is easily accessible from Queenstown, Arrowtown or Central Otago with adequate parking available.
Come and join us from March 29th – April 1st 2012 for a memorable week of golf based around one of New Zealand’s oldest and most prestigious championships, play the other top class courses in the region and enjoy everything that Queenstown has to offer in late summer.
Hollywood actor and producer Don Cheadle has confirmed he will play in the NZ PGA Pro-Am Championship at The Hills in Queenstown between March the 29th and April the 1st. Cheadle is best known for his performance as Paul Rusesabagina in the film Hotel Rwanda, which earned him a Best Actor nomination at the Academy Awards in 2005. He has also appeared in a number of other notable films including Colors, Boogie Nights, Crash, and Oceans Eleven as well as the acclaimed television series ER and Picket Fences.
A unique predator free sanctuary developed within the confines of the privately owned 18-hole Wairakei International Golf Course, near Taupo, is now home to two young kiwi chicks.
The official handing over and release of the two brown kiwi at the end of the first day of the annual NZPGA senior championship tournament at Wairakei ( March 1) was marked with a Powhiri. Director General of Conservation Al Morrison and Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary owner Gary Lane also signed an official Memorandum of Understanding formalising an agreement to make the most of conservation and restoration opportunities within the sanctuary. That includes using it as a crèche for kiwi. The two kiwi will be released back into the wild in about five to six months time when they reach a weight of around one kilo and are large enough to defend themselves from predators.
The golf course sanctuary was officially opened a year ago and is believed to be the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere. Mr Lane said the opportunity to work with DOC to use it as a safe haven for threatened native species like kiwi was very rewarding.
He said the idea of creating a sanctuary on the iconic 180 ha golf course property was sparked by an article that said 95% of kiwi born in the wild were likely to be killed by stoats, weasels and other predators.
Peter Fowler of Auckland proved his favouritism over the weekend with a two shot victory in the New Zealand PGA Senior Championship at the Wairakei Golf Course. Conditions were horrendous. The weather bomb that had been predicted did not quite eventuate although it was enough of a prediction to have the International Ironman in Taupo cancelled and modified into a half-length event for tomorrow (Sunday).
Senior golf pros however are a hardy lot, they have seen every possible scenario in their time, so the day went ahead with very few complaints, although with branches falling off trees it was getting close to a dangerous situation.
Full credit must be given to the amateur teams who also had to endure a day they would most likely be pleased to forget, but in the end it got done.