Here's a list of things that have happened since a Kiwi
golfer last won the New Zealand Open when Mahal Pearce
triumphed at Middlemore in 2003.
Facebook was invented, the All Blacks won a World Cup, the US
elected an African-American president, the Breakers won the
Australian NBL - twice, YouTube was created and and some
Canadian kid called Justin Bieber took the planet by storm.
It's fair to say that, home and abroad, there's been a few
changes since Pearce's victory.
But, droughts, curses, streaks and hoodoos in sport are made
to be broken and there's an air of quiet confidence among the
New Zealand contingent at Clearwater that a Kiwi will be the
one lifting the trophy this week.
A handful of locals come into the 94th New Zealand Open in
solid form, namely Gareth Paddison, Mark Brown and Michael
Hendry who all finished in the top 10 at the Australian
Masters last weekend.
Throw in former web.com tour pro Josh Geary and regular
starters Pearce and Phil Tataurangi, plus a host of rookie
pros including Ryan Fox and Ben Campbell and you can see why
the Kiwis are confident.
Geary, who has been the best-placed New Zealander at the
event for the past four years, said it was time to see a Kiwi
"I think, especially with the form in the last few weeks from
some of the boys, Hendry, Mark Brown and Paddison playing
well, they're a good chance this year, for sure."
As for his own form, Geary said despite having a lean year in
the United States where he struggled to get starts after
missing a few cuts early in the season, he felt like he could
be in contention.
"This year I haven't played more than two [tournaments] in a
row but it's just not me. I need a bit of momentum going on
and what not. I think most guys do. If you take off time from
competition it always takes some time to get back. No matter
how you're playing you've got to find your competitive game."
Geary has suffered plenty of disappointment in recent weeks
after failed attempts to qualify for the European and PGA
Tours for next year.
He holds no status in the United States next season and hoped
that a couple of big performances in New Zealand and
Australia during the next few weeks would see him earn an
opportunity to play in Asia next year.
Geary finished third at Clearwater last year and if he could
go two better this week he would break a lengthy drought in
New Zealand sport and breathe life into his own career.
Hendry is the leading money-winner on the Australian PGA Tour
in 2012 and said he felt in good touch.
"There's obviously a large Kiwi field this week so the
percentage is there already, but I think there's so many of
us playing well at the moment, so I think there'll be several
Kiwis there on Sunday."
Peter O'Malley is one of the Australians who will want to
steal the crown and has won at Clearwater before.
"I like this golf course. It's in very good shape. There
looks like there's a bit more rough around so the emphasis is
on driving the ball well. I wouldn't come here if I didn't
feel like I couldn't compete," the veteran said.
"I do like the wind normally but last week I had trouble
putting when it was windy. I would still like a bit of wind.
I don't think I've played here when it hasn't been windy and
I do play a lot better when it blows a bit."
Nick Cullen, Aaron Townsend and amateur Jake Higginbottom are
the other Aussie raiders who could spoil the party this week.