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Liam Hewitt (Queens Park) has risen from the ashes of Southland schoolboy and junior golf to win the Cobham Cup in the New Zealand Under-19 Championship, played over three rounds in Cromwell this week.
Hewitt (18) made his debut for the Southland senior team in the Toro Men's Interprovincial tournament last year.
He tied with Jayden Ford (Judgeford) with a three-round total of 6-under-par 210 but won the second hole of the sudden-death playoff with a par 4.
Joshua Bai (Akarana) led after a 67 in the first round while Sam Marsters (Miramar) and Ronan Restieaux (Nelson) were tied for third, one shot back.
At that stage Hewitt was not in the top 20 but he romped up to fourth-equal after a 6-under-par 66 on Thursday for the lowest score of the event.
A playoff looked likely with the two playing groups in with a chance over the final few holes.
It is hoped Hewitt's success might revitalise Southland schoolboy golf, as the province has not put forward a team to play Otago for the Ben McCorkindale Memorial trophy for almost a decade.
Hayden Robertson (Taieri Lakes) was the pick of the Otago youngsters, finishing ninth with rounds of 75, 73 and 71.