A 10-year-old Queenstown golfer had an astonishing result at the Par-3 curtain-raiser to the 100th NZ Open last Wednesday.
Josh Harris was second out of 105 amateurs at Sir Michael Hill’s brand-new nine-holer, The Farm – posting a one-over-par 28 and tying with former Aussie cricketing great Ricky Ponting.
And out of 30-plus pros, only seven had better scores, including last year’s NZ Open winner, Daniel Nisbet, who was in Josh’s group and shot 27.
A Wakatipu Junior Golf Club and Jack’s Point club member, Josh also plays Saturday golf at Queenstown Golf Club’s Kelvin Heights course.
Despite his tender age, the Remarkables Primary pupil has notched up a lot of international experience over the past two years, finishing seventh at the World Stars of Junior Golf Championship at Las Vegas, in the United States, last year.
After winning the NZ Junior Open Boys 10 at Arrowtown’s Millbrook Resort last September, he qualified for this July’s IMG Junior World Championships, in San Diego, also in the US.
While over there he’ll compete, too, in the FCG International, also in San Diego, and again in the World Stars of Junior Golf in Las Vegas.
Last December, Josh also won Otago Golf’s junior under-14 matchplay tournament at the Cromwell golf course.
Coached by The Hills’ head teaching pro Allan McKay, he’s played golf since the age of three.
His mum Anne Harris says his ambition’s to play pro golf via the US college route.
After his success at The Farm, he volunteered for the third year in a row over the four days of the NZ Open, carrying a mobile scoreboard.
“I went with him because he was too small to carry it all the way around,” Anne says.