Australia have beaten New Zealand in the inaugural Trans-Tasman Long Drive Golf Challenge held at Stonecutters Ridge Golf Club in the far west of Sydney over the weekend.
The Australian ‘Long Ballers’ beat the New Zealand ‘Long Blacks’ by 10 ½ points to 8 ½ points in a close fought encounter.
After the pairs the Kiwis scored three wins and one drawn contest, plus an extra half point for the longest drive by Chase McKeown from the Akarana Club in Auckland who hit 369m.
Australia managed two wins and two half points for their total of three after the pairs. However in the 12 singles matches the home side started well and finished with seven victories overall plus an extra half point as a result Daniel Lee from Albury in Victoria who smashed a drive of 381 metres for the longest shot of the singles and longest drive overall for the day.
For New Zealand, McKeown was also the longest hitter in the singles with a longest drive of 378m in humid conditions.
The closest competition in singles was between Gareth Campbell (Takapuna Golf Course in Auckland) and Aussie Karl Peters with Peters winning by the narrowest of margins 347.8m versus 347.2m.
Taranaki’s Sam Jones and Dan Crook Omanu Golf Club (Mt Maunganui), Alex Lunn (Morrinsville) and Allan Stroud (Takapuna) as well as McKeown and Adam Taylor (Auckland) were the winning pairs for the visiting team. The singles winners for New Zealand were Iain Dick (St Andrews, Hamilton), Ronnie Clark (Cape Kidnappers (Hawkes Bay), Stroud, Jones and McKeown.
Plans are for the competition to continue every year between the two nations with venues changing country every year.