By PHILIP CHANDLER
New Zealand disc golf history’s been made in Queenstown.
In winning last weekend’s 54-hole Tucker Beach Rush tournament, Invercargill’s Levi Stout, aged 15 years, one month, became the youngest person to win an NZ tour event.
He took the record off Queenstowner Ben Wiel-Lake, who was six months older when he won the same event in 2015.
Tournament assistant director Hemi Te Awhitu says Levi’s win wasn’t totally unexpected —
‘‘he’s been pushing the top-five for a while’’ — and notes that strength, even for a course with holes averaging 100 metres in length, isn’t a factor in the sport.
‘‘It’s mostly technique, and those boys [Levi and Ben] are built for disc golf, really — they’re tall, they’ve got long arms, so they can really get a lot of whip and a lot of throw in the disc, and both started at a young age.’’
Last weekend’s runner-up and men’s pro open winner, two strokes behind, was local Mikey
Yu, who back in April won the Queenstown Classic Disc Golf Tournament in the Gardens.
Other winners, in a record field of 100, included Hayley Flintoft, of Wanaka (women’s pro open), Dom Hayden, of Wanaka (men’s masters), Levi’s mum Nicola (women’s masters), Ed Waddington, of Wanaka (men’s grand masters) and Paul Deacon, of Christchurch (men’s senior grand masters).
Te Awhitu says the weather again played ball last weekend — ‘‘the locals say it’s always summer at Tucker’s’’.
‘‘Everybody was pretty happy with the course — it was very challenging, but that’s what
people want for a tournament of this calibre.’’