The 10 tournaments between 1957 and 1966 were largely dominated by Peter Thomson and Kel Nagle who both picked up four championships each.
Nagle picked up the 1957 & 1958 crowns with two and four-shot victories in Manawatu & Hamilton respectively. Thomson piled the pressure on Nagle finishing runner up in both of these victories.
1958 also saw future golf legend, Gary Player hit New Zealand’s shores in Hamilton. Alongside Player, Harold Henning and David Thomas lined up to compete for the New Zealand Open with the field regarded at the time as the best ever to contest the championship.
Thomson then took his chance, he hit back winning three in a row between 1959 – 1961. The first in an 18-hole playoff where he edged Nagle 67 to 73 in Paraparaumu Beach, the second was a one-shot victory over Nagle in Invercargill and then a comprehensive nine-shot win, again over Nagle in New Plymouth
While Nagle would again finish runner up to Thomson in 1965, he had already picked up the 1962 & 1964 titles to add to his tally of New Zealand Open Championships.
1964 also saw The New Zealand Open Championship became a standalone event, and no longer played alongside the Amateur Championship.
In a largely Australian dominated period, Sir Bob Charles picked up the only victory by a Kiwi in 1966, with a 13-shot victory over England’s Gary Wolstenholme in Paraparaumu Beach. Charles shot-19 under, 273 on his way to his second New Zealand Open victory and his first as a professional.
The lowest winning total during this period was 266, 26 under par by Kel Nagle in 1964. The highest winning score was also recorded by Nagle with a 294 in Manawatu in 1957.
|Year||Champion||Nationality||Course||Score||Winning Margin||Runner Up|
|1957||Kel Nagle||Australia||Manawatu||294||4 Strokes||Peter Thomson|
|1958||Kel Nagle||Australia||Hamilton||275||2 Strokes||Peter Thomson|
|1959||Peter Thomson||Australia||Paraparaumu Beach||287||Playoff||Kel Nagle|
|1960||Peter Thomson||Australia||Invercargill||281||1 stroke||Kel Nagle|
|1961||Peter Thomson||Australia||New Plymouth||267||9 strokes||Kel Nagle|
|1962||Kel Nagle||Australia||Titirangi||281||2 strokes||Walter Godfrey (a)|
|1963||Bruce Devlin||Australia||Wanganui||273||1 stroke||Peter Thomson|
|1964||Kel Nagle||Australia||Christchurch||266||12 strokes||Frank Phillips|
|1965||Peter Thomson (8)||Australia||Auckland||278||8 strokes||Bob Charles
|1966||Bob Charles (2)||New Zealand||Paraparaumu Beach||273||13 strokes||Gary Wolstenholme|
Read the previous articles: Our Story: 1907 – 1920 | Our Story: 1921 – 1930 | Our Story: 1931 – 1946 | Our Story: 1947 – 1957