Patston heads province's order of merit

Ben Patston. Photo: ODT Files
Ben Patston. Photo: ODT Files
Ben Patston (Otago) has won the 2018 Otago order of merit, scoring 199.5 points for his best eight performances in the listed tournaments.

Patston (32) made the Otago eight-man team this year but failed to make the final five to compete in the recent Toro interprovincial.

He shares his passion for golf with rugby and has played at first five-eighth for the Green Island premier team during winter.

Patston made his mark last year when he won the national left-handers' title at Chisholm Park.

Points are awarded for each tournament with the best eight performances averaged for the final points awarded for the year.

Patston got the march on the other players winning the Lakes District title for a maximum of 320 points.

He finished ahead of 18-year-old Callum Judkins (Wakatipu Junior) who came in second place with 188.1 points.

Duncan Croudis (Otago) was third, Ryan Bellamy (St Clair) was fourth, and Otago captain Brandon Hodgson (Otago) came in fifth.

Croudis could feel aggrieved finishing in third place as he scored 320 points in three of the highly rated tournaments.

Patston was awarded $750, Judkins ($550), Croudis ($350), Bellamy ($250) and Hodgson $150 in the competition.

As they are amateur golfers, the money is kept for them to spend on golf equipment, travel to events, tournament entry fees and coaching.

Many provinces do not have trials to select their Toro teams and use their order of merit placings to assist their selectors.

This year the team and reserve would have been markedly different and if Otago is to implement this policy, the order of merit tournaments would have to be carefully chosen.

Leading players with their points in the Bridgestone Golf Otago senior order of merit for last year:

199.5 - Ben Patston (Otago).

188.1 - Callum Judkins (Wakatipu Junior).

185.5 - Duncan Croudis (Otago) .

139.9 - Ryan Bellamy (St Clair).

132.7 - Brandon Hodgson (Otago).

108.4 - Blake Mason (Wanaka).

107.3 - Phil Bungard (North Otago).

103.4 - Fraser MacLachlan (Millbrook).

87.5 - Johnny Mackay (Lower Waitaki).

86.6 - Ryan Shuttleworth (Wanaka).

86.5 - Jacob Bellamy (Port Chalmers).

83.4 - Kyle Clark (Cromwell).

80.9 - Hayden Robertson (Taieri Lakes).

60.6 - Josedph Hancock (St Clair).

58.2 - Jack Turner (Wakatipu Junior).

57.3 - Parker Aluesi (St Clair).

56.3 - Sungwoo Han (Queenstown).

55.3 - Michael Smith (Island Park).

 - by Bill Trewern

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