Golf: Pearce may have glance

Mahal Pearce.
Mahal Pearce.
The most recent New Zealand winner of the New Zealand Open will not be in Queenstown this weekend.

He may take a fleeting glance at the action on the television but that will be about as close as he gets.

Dunedin player Mahal Pearce won the Open at Middlemore back in 2003.

Pearce made a charge on the Sunday afternoon to win the event.

But these days playing golf is the furthest thing from his mind.

Pearce gave the game up as a professional about 18 months ago - after a professional career of more than 10 years - and has barely touched a golf club since.

He works at an electrical wholesalers in Dunedin and enjoys family time.

"I do not really miss it. You miss the friendships you made and I do miss playing,'' Pearce said.

"But I do not miss the travel and finding ways to get to places and trying to fund trips. I got sick of airports.''

The 40-year-old, who is married with two children, had no serious involvement with the game any more.

He has not had any second thoughts about giving the game away and hardly played now.

"I was at Millbrook for an event the other week and I ended up going out for a hit and it was pretty rough.

"People don't really understand how hard it is. What is involved and the commitment you have to make. The time you have to put in in the modern game, with all the training and the practice. I'm not saying I do not love the game but it is hard.

"I started at the same time as Tiger and what he did, so we were behind the eight-ball to start with.''

Pearce said he had great memories of the win in 2003.

When in Queenstown a couple of weeks ago he ended up at The Hills course and saw the New Zealand Open trophy.

"I saw my name there and remembered it. It was a pretty special week and is still fresh in my mind.''

Pearce said he would have a glance or two at the action at the Open this week end and hoped for a win by a New Zealander.

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