PM's 'magical day' at golf fundraiser

Prime Minister John Key shot a respectable 33 stableford points at the Otago Golf Club at Balmacewen in Dunedin yesterday, as part of a charity event to raise funds for the Edgar National Centre for Diabetes Research.

Mr Key said he relished the opportunity to play 18 holes, as his busy schedule usually prevented it. The game rounded off the Prime Minister's two-day visit to Dunedin for the Otago Daily Times Class Act presentation to Otago's top secondary school pupils.

"It was a magical day out, a great opportunity to see the very best of Dunedin and also to raise money for charity," Mr Key said last night.

Yesterday, he spoke at an Otago Chamber of Commerce breakfast function, then attended a prizegiving at St Hilda's Collegiate School before teeing off at 1.30pm.

Today he returns home to Auckland.

Joining him on the fairways were former All Black captain and coach Sir Brian Lochore, former All Black coach Laurie Mains and former Otago rugby player Brett McCormack. Jamie Mackay, who hosts the Farming Show on Radio Sport, was also among the 10 golfers involved, having organised the event.

Mr Mackay said he mentioned the Balmacewen course to Mr Key during a discussion earlier this year, and organised the charity game when the Prime Minister confirmed his attendance at Class Act.

The chance to play golf with Mr Key and Sir Brian enticed eight bidders, whose money went towards diabetes, child cancer and obesity research.

A portion of the money raised also went to the Otago Golf Club, and the $12,000 total included a $2500 contribution from the Prime Minister.

Strong winds made the course tricky but all golfers finished in about five hours.

Harbour Fish City owner Aaron Cooper won the game with a 41 points, followed by Mr Mackay on 37, Sir Brian on 36 and Mr Key in fourth-equal place with Mr McCormack on 33.



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