Mahal Pearce started playing golf as an 11-year-old at Port Chalmers where he was coached by the late Ivan Forgie.
Upon entering Otago Boys’ High School, Pearce was already a talented single-figure player and he thrived in the competition for team places.
In his final year, he led the school team to win the national intercollegiate in Wellington and qualify to compete in the world final at St Andrews in Scotland.
He shot 71 on the Jubilee course and was close to par on the Old Course to finish as the second individual and ensure Otago Boys’ finished as runner-up to French team Lycee Bellevue.
He left school and represented Otago for the next five years before moving to Wellington in 1997. He won the New Zealand under-23 title in 1997 before turning professional in October 1997.
The highlight of his career came on the Middlemore course in Auckland in 2003 when he finished strongly to win the New Zealand Open. He was in peak form at the time and finished third in the Jacobs Creek tournament in Adelaide three weeks later.
Pearce has been involved with Golf Otago and is a senior and junior selector as well as managing the junior team and most recently as the chief executive of Golf Otago.