John Hornabrook


Past Champion

1937 & 1936

Notable Achievements

  • 1937 New Zealand Open (as an amateur)
  • 1939 New Zealand Open (as an anateur)

A two-time New Zealand Open Champion as an amateur who also won the New Zealand Amateur Championship

1937 New Zealand Open: St.Andrews, Hamilton was played in pleasant conditions on September 30th and October 1st and 2nd. This event became probably the most sensational in this pre-war period of the Championship.

The first two days play saw the Auckland professional, Moss leading with 76-70-146, followed by the young amateur Hornabrook with 150, then Murray and Shaw with 151 and 153 respectively. When the cards were returned after the final round the scores showed Murray three strokes ahead among this quartet, the remainder all finishing on 299.

However Murray had marked his ball on the eighth green in the last round, and while Hornabrook putted out, tapped his ball along the edge of the green.

The ensuing disqualification required Shaw, Moss and Hornabrook to a playoff for the title over eighteen holes next day. Shaw led the trio after nine holes, going out in 37, two strokes ahead of his adversaries. Hornabrook’s homeward score of 34 however, gave him the title by two strokes from Moss, the first amateur victor since Sloan Morpeth in 1928.

1939 New Zealand Open: Returning to the Miramar Golf Club which had only once previously hosted the event in 1926, the S.S.S. 74 course provided the players with a huge challenge on November 9, 10, and 11. High winds blew sand from the bunkers, gritty material from the adjacent airfield construction site and made club selection in many cases, a lottery.

It was not until the final day that the weather improved and though very cool, it gave many the opportunity to better display their skills. By this time McIntosh and Kitto had gained a two-stroke lead over Hornabrook with Shaw and Reilly two further strokes back.

The steadiness of McIntosh, who alone of the professionals had been able to master the winds, was not sufficient to combat the flair of Hornabrook or Murray on the final day. It was however the young amateur who took the title and with it the other two major trophies.

Later in the week he also won the New Zealand Amateur Championship to emulate a feat only previously achieved by Arthur Duncan in 1911.

Last updated 20 August, 2020

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