A Tamahere local and former St Peter’s student has made the biggest achievement in his young golfing career winning the 2018 New Zealand Amateur Golf Championship.
Twenty-year-old Charlie Smail secured the title after defeating Wellington’s Kerry Mountcastle 5 – 4 in the 36-hole final at Wairakei Golf Course on Sunday, November 4.
It was a proud moment for his father David Smail, a winner of over NZ$12 million as a professional golfer, who was never able to achieve such heights during his own amateur status. “He’s done well and done us proud,” an emotional David Smail said, “I think I hardly ever made the top 32 (in amateur golfing).”
For Charlie, is was an “amazing and very special feeling” to win the final. “I can’t really believe it at the moment,” he said after the match. “This is the biggest win of my career by far.”
“We are all immensely proud of what he has done today, and I hope he eclipses us and makes us look silly,” David said.
Waikato Golf CEO Terry Booth said the organisation was tremendously proud of Charlie, who has been under their wing since the age of 12, progressing from their junior squad to now their elite senior team. “It’s fantastic, we’re over the moon,” he said. “In the past two years he’s really put in the hard yards, so to get the New Zealand amateur title is very special.”
Charlie, a member of Matamata’s Walton Golf Club, is the sixth Waikato Golfer to win the title in the past 25 years.