Ricardo Pintor wins Don Reyland Stars for the 2nd time

The National GC Handicap Finals, the Don Reyland Stars, were played at Forbury Park CC in Dunedin from 8-10 March. 14 Association champions represented their regions in a large single game round-robin block over the three days.

On Friday, Mike Bunce (Canterbury) took the early lead, winning his first four matches on an otherwise very even day with 13 of the players winning at least one game. Dan Steven (South Canterbury), Ricardo Pintor (South Taranaki) and Max Philpott (Southland) all had three wins from four, applying some pressure on Mike going into Saturday.

Saturday morning saw Debbie Lawrence (Northland) and Chris Magner (Wellington) win their first three games of the day, including a win for Chris over 2022 Champion Ricardo Pintor. Stephen Green (Nelson) provided an upset based on Friday’s results, beating Max Philpott to ensure that all players had a win at the halfway point of the matches.

Mike Bunce and Ricardo Pintor went on to win their final two games of the day, entering Sunday on 7 wins each. Max Philpott was just behind with six wins, and four players had 5 wins, meaning half the field still had a good chance of taking the Gold Star.

On the final day, both Max and Ricardo won all four games, meaning both had won their final six of the championship. Chris Magner and Cathy Martin (Taranaki) also had impressive Sundays, winning three games each. All this meant that Ricardo Pintor would win the Don Reyland Stars for the 2nd time, with 11 wins out of thirteen. Ricardo became just the second multiple winner for the Don Reyland after Chris Clarke, who has won it three times.

Max Philpott finished second for the Silver Star with 10 wins, ahead of Chris Magner and Mike Bunce who had eight wins each.

CNZ would like to thank Forbury Park CC, the volunteers and players for making this a great, competitive handicap tournament.