Taylor Timbers Waimea Championships tournament director Mat'e Crins, left, with tournament sponsor Sue Taylor and one of the club's top golfers Andrew Drummond at Greenaacres Golf Club this week. Photo: Simon Bloomberg

Waimea champs attract top golfers

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Richmond’s Andrew Drummond recalls playing alongside one of Tasman’s top golfers Hamish Campbell in his first Waimea Championships at Greenacres as a 13-year-old rookie in 2011.

Five years later Andrew, who plays on a three-handicap, will be one of the top contenders in this year’s Taylor Timbers Waimea Championships to be played at Greenacres on June 4 and 5.

Andrew is one of about 80 golfers entered in the 36-hole stroke play champs which started in 1940 and is one of the longest running tournaments in the country.

“I remember the first time I played, I was in a four with Hamish Campbell,” Andrew says. “I was only 13 so  I was really nervous.

“But I’m looking forward to this year’s champs. The course is getting a lot better after the rain so it should be playing well.”

Tournament director  Mat’e Crins says the championship has  attracted some of the region’s top golfers including last year’s women’s winner Eve Clarke.

Young professionals Nick Loach and Hamish Campbell are also expected to be late entries.

Mat’e says the championship has been won by some top golfers over the years, including New Zealand’s top ranked amateur, Greenacres’ Ryan Chisnall, who took the title in 2013.  Debbie Smith won the tournament an incredible 17 times from 1978 to 2002 while J B Ross showed plenty of longevity by winning in 1940 and again in 1968.

Mat’e says anyone interested in a late entry can contact the pro-shop at Greenacres on 5446441. The champs tee off at 10am on Saturday June 4 and Sunday June 5.