Blast from the past: 1919 New Zealand Open

Following the World War break of four years, the 1919 Championships were played once again at the Napier Golf Club’s Waiohiki course.

The 1919 New Zealand Open Championship was played between the 1st & 2nd of September at the Napier Golf Club, Waiohiki.

E.S.Douglas was the current Champion, having claimed back-to-back titles in 1913 & 1914.

Conditions were bitterly cold and there was heavy overnight rain between the first and second days.

A shortage of coal due to wartime demands reduced train travel and many players wishing to resurrect their competitive edge found difficulty in organising travel to Hawkes Bay. Several from Auckland went by steamer to New Plymouth then by road, first to Palmerston North then on to Napier.

The appearance of only half a dozen professionals meant a far greater reference in local and national media was given to the amateur events. The recent return from France of Ted Douglas and Sloan Morpeth and their eventual play-off for the New Zealand Open title did, however, create considerable interest.

Sloan Morpeth began the third round with a ten shot advantage, but a superb score of 72 followed by a final round 81 saw the playing through champion force a tie with 327.
In the subsequent 18 hole play-off next day, Ted Douglas retained his title with 82 against Morpeth’s 87.
E.S.Douglas: 84 84 78 81 = 327
S.Morpeth (a): 77 81 86 83 = 327

J.A.Clements: 00 169 00 162 = 331
Kapi Tareha (a): 00 164 86  83 = 333
H.E.Crosse (a):00 164 90  81 = 335
W.McEwen: 00 172 00 165 = 337

E.S.Douglas won the tie-breaking play off over 18 holes with 82 to Morpeth’s 87

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