OUR STORY 1 of 10: 1907 – 1920
During the first 10 tournaments held between 1907 and 1920 (no tournaments played 1915 – 1918), there were three different Champions who each won three titles apiece. The inaugural New Zealand Open, which included a field of 123 Amateurs and seven professionals was held at the Napier Golf Club.
The tournament was dominated by future amateur legend, Arthur Duncan, who became the first New Zealand Open Champion winning by 7 strokes. Arthur Duncan continued his winning ways as an Amateur capturing the 1910 and 1911 crowns to add to the first in 1907.
At the young age of just 19, Joe Clements was the first professional and the first back-to-back Champion taking out the 1908 & 1909 titles in Auckland and Otago respectively. Joe also took out the 1912 crown with a three-shot win in Wellington.
Scotland’s Ted Douglas was the first non-kiwi to win the New Zealand Open and is one of only three players to win three titles in-a-row. His 1919 victory became the first playoff victory, where over 18 extra holes in Napier he edged out Sloan Morpeth 82 – 85.
In 1920 we also saw the first Australian win the tournament with Joe Kirkwood Snr claiming his only New Zealand Open title in Hamilton by a record equally 11 shots.
The lowest championship-winning score in this era was 159 shot by Arthur Duncan in Napier (played over 36 holes) Duncan also held the record for the lowest 72 hole win shooting 295 in Christchurch. The highest winning score was 335 by Joe Clements in 1908.
|Year||Champion||Nationality||Course||Score||Winning Margin||Runner Up|
|1907||Arthur Duncan (a)||New Zealand||Napier||159||7 strokes||J Carne Bidwell (a)|
|1908||Joe Clements||New Zealand||Otago||335||1 stroke||David Hood|
|1909||Joe Clements||New Zealand||Auckland||324||6 strokes||J Carne Bidwell (a)|
|1910||Arthur Duncan (a)||New Zealand||Christchurch||295||11 strokes||Joe Clements|
|1911||Arthur Duncan (a)||New Zealand||Wanganui||319||3 strokes||J C Johnson|
|1912||Joe Clements||New Zealand||Wellington||322||3 strokes||B. B. Wood (a)|
|1913||Ted Douglas||Scotland||Otago||303||9 strokes||Reg Butters|
|1914||Ted Douglas||Scotland||Auckland||313||2 strokes||Arthur Duncan (a)|
|1919||Ted Douglas||Scotland||Napier||327||18 hole playoff||Sloan Morpeth (a)|
|1920||Joe Kirkwood, Sr.||Australia||Hamilton||304||11 strokes||Arthur East & Sloan Morpeth (a)|