Glorious golfing conditions and record-breaking scoring made the 2013 Kaimai Under-19 tournament held at the superbly groomed Omanu and Mount Maunganui golf courses one of the best.
The event demanded plenty from the young talent that entered, with 36 holes played at Omanu on Thursday, followed by 36 holes at Mount Maunganui on Friday.
Hamilton's Denzil Ieremia reigned supreme after his four rounds amassed a remarkable total of 25 under the card. Along the way he scorched around Omanu in 62, which is some round of golf, but the official course record of 63 from the longer blue tees by 18-year-old Jordan Golding still stands.
Ieremia shot 67 in the opening round to leave Omanu on 129, six shots ahead of Te Puke's Charlie Hillier (68,67), with Ju Hyeok from Tauranga a shot further back and Mount Maunganui's Bailey Smith on 141.
Ieremia had a solid par 72 in his morning round at Mount Maunganui but his lead was reduced after 16-year-old Jin Hwang from Te Puke went 10-under the card to shoot his lowest recorded score of 62.
But with the pressure on, Ieremia responded with an eight under 64 to finish on 23 under and clinch the title by eight shots from the fast finishing Smith. It follows a fine performance at last week's North Island under-19 tournament when Ieremia was beaten by a single shot by Trent Munn.
Ieremia was expecting to do well at the dual Mount courses but was shocked by his 62.
"The greens were quite soft so I was able to hit wedges in and I took advantage of that," Ieremia said.
"I did not expect to shoot that low. My goal was to have 10 under for the tournament and I got that on the first day so I thought I may as well make the most of it. I was pretty happy with the final score. I really like the two courses and really enjoy playing them. The greens at both courses were really good and I am looking forward to coming back for the Grant Clements Memorial [Mount Maunganui, February 9-10] and hopefully I can repeat this. See what happens."
Ahead of Ieremia in his final round was local member Smith, who has committed most of 2013 to playing as much tournament golf as he can to fast track his promising amateur career, with correspondence schooling filling the education void. The 16-year-old certainly showed he has the right tournament temperament as he went on a birdie blitz to shoot 62 and leap frog Hwang into second place overall with a final score of 15 under for the four rounds.
"I knew I had to make a few birdies in the afternoon with people going low in the morning so I had to chase them down," Smith said.
"I knew I couldn't catch Denzil but I went from eighth to second with that  and it beats my best round here of 65 in this tournament last year, so I am really happy.
"I learned a lot from last year when I got it going good then played defensively for the last few holes, so I kept going trying to make birdies rather than protect a par. I just kept playing aggressively.
"I played well at Omanu and hit 33 greens out of 36 but didn't really hole anything, so shot 72, 69 there."
In the women's section, Jeong Lee shot an impressive score of 66 in the morning round at her home course of Mount Maunganui to set up her winning margin of 11 shots over Omanu's Alanna Campbell. Seon Kim and Woori Cha, both from Mount Maunganui, were third and fourth, with Taupo golfer Erikah Waiariki in fifth place.