Blast from the past: 1933 New Zealand Open

The 1933 New Zealand Open Championship was hosted by the Titirangi Golf Club on October 7th, 9th, and 10th. This course in the western suburbs of Auckland was largely developed following the first world war.

The club was originally known as Maungakiekie when using Domain land following Auckland Golf Club’s move from One Tree Hill. Titirangi in the lower slopes of the Waitakeres became first a sister club where members could opt to join one or both and this situation lasted until  1930, when the newer course, now having been revamped under the guidance of Dr. Alistair Mackenzie, separated to become two stand-alone entities.

Crowd of golf enthusiasts following A. J. Shaw – Credit: NZME

The New Zealand Open at Titirangi was played on a course providing narrow fairways, wooded gullies and quite severe terraced greens. The winning score was well above that of the previous three years and some regarded the test as too severe. After the second day, with excellent playing conditions, the field was led by Auckland amateur R.H. Menzies who scored 71-78-149.

The layout was taking its toll with the dreaded thirteenth hole, the “wrecker”, proving difficult to master in the freshening northerly wind. When the final round began on the third day, Auckland professional E.J. Moss, held a two-stroke lead from Shaw, was three ahead of H.R. Blair and five ahead of a group that included Otago professional E.S. Douglas.

A.J. Shaw lacked his usual confidence in the afternoon and a fine outward nine of 33 saw Douglas complete his round in 71 to tie with Moss who played steadily for 76.

A play-off took place on Monday October 16th and proved a rather one-sided affair with E.J. Moss playing soundly for scores of 74 and 72, while E.S Douglas, out of bounds with his first shot of the day, never recovered and scored 78 and 77.

  • E.S.Douglas:  79  76  74  71   300
  • E.J.Moss: 75  77  72  76   300
  • A.J.Shaw: 74  78  74  78   304
  • H.R.Blair: 79  72  76  79  306
  • B.V.Wright (a): 79  77  73  78   307
  • N.H.Fuller: 75  78  77  77   307
  • W.S.Ralph (a): 74  80  77  76   307

Moss won the tie-breaking 36 hole play off with 146 to Douglas’ 155. Jellicoe Cup for best individual round won by E.S.Douglas with 71

E. S. Douglas, of the Balmacewan Club, Dunedin, and E. J. Moss, of the Auckland Club at the Titirangi Golf Club during the 1933 New Zealand Open – Credit: Fairfax

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