Cameron Grant smashed his way into the record books at the Ashburton Golf Club on Saturday when he carded a 61 – three shots better than the previous course record.
Grant was taking part in the club’s inaugural 36-hole Brandon Open and was leading with a very good 68 after the first round.
But he tore the course apart in his second round with 30 off the opening nine holes and coming home with a 31.
Club captain Paddy Bradford said Grant’s golf was amazing and during the day he had five eagles, plus two bogies in the afternoon.
The 61 is 11 under par for the course, which Grant said was in great condition for the day’s play.
He was a late starter for the tournament and was rung by a mate the night before to travel down from West Melton to take part.
Grant grew up playing on the fairways and greens of the Brandon course and needed little encouragement to make the trip, though it would be only the third time he had picked up his clubs in 2018.
The former scratch golfer now plays off a +1 and is a social member of the nine-hole Rakaia Golf Club.
Grant is a former Aorangi golf representative and played the game full-time in 2014 and 2015, testing the waters as a professional golfer.
He has played in national and interprovincial tournaments and in 2011 won a national long drive championship.
But he plays for enjoyment these days.
Grant, who was in a four with out-of-towners Blair Franklin, Michael Scott and Steve Vivian, said he knew he was playing well on Saturday and tried to stay relaxed.
His first round was going well until he “blew to bits”, carding a 68.
His second was better and, to the delight of the other golfers in his group, he blitzed around in 61, playing off the blue tees (the furtherest from the holes).
“You know you are going good.
“But I have been going all right before … when you start thinking about it, you start trying too hard and the wheels fall off.”
Grant said he was based at the Ashburton course when he played seriously and knowing the course well was an advantage.
“And the course was in pretty good nick.”
The real estate agent said he enjoyed a beer after the game to celebrate and would look forward to seeing his scorecard framed and hanging in the clubhouse on his next visit.
The club was pleased with the field that took part in the 36-hole event and plans to run it again next year.
Sharon Bradford won the ladies’ gross prize, Chris Ralston won the intermediate men’s gross, Paddy Bradford won senior men’s nett followed by Tufuga Sa, while Michelle Scott from Greendale took out the ladies’ nett, and Sam Clarke pipped Braydon Wood to the intermediate nett.
The club will host its annual Harvey Normal Classic on February 24 and 25.
– By Linda Clarke