Topic: Wentworth Lane (TDN 30/01/2021)

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Wentworth Lane

Wentworth Lane is another of the golf-themed street names common in the Links subdivision in Bell Block.

It is named after a privately owned golf club and health resort located in Virginia Water, Surrey. The clubhouse was built in the 19th Century as the home for the brother-in-law of the Duke of Wellington. The development of the golf courses was the brainchild of a builder W.G. Tarrant who began an ambitious housing development in 1912, the key being a golf course next to the project.

The first two courses were designed in the early 1920s by noted golf course architect, Harry Colt. The most famous of the now three 18 hole courses is the West Course. The par 72 course opened in 1926 and has played host to the World Match Play Championship (1964-2007), the World Cup of Golf in 1956, the BMW PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup in 1953.  

The World Match Play Championship was founded in 1964 by the well-known sports agent Mark McCormack, to showcase some of the players he managed. Match play sees players drawn against one other player in a head-to-head competition as opposed to the usual 72 hole tournament.

New Zealand has had two winners of the prestigious event. In 1969 Sir Bob Charles defeated the American Gene Littler after 37 holes. His win broke the stranglehold Arnold Palmer and Gary Player had on the first five years of the event.

In 2005 it was the turn of the Hāwera-born Michael Campbell to win the match play championship. In an outstanding year for the New Zealand golfer (he had won the U.S. Open just months earlier) he defeated the Irish golfer Paul McGinley to win and collect £1,000,000.

Nearly making it a hat-trick of Kiwi winners was Simon Owen. In 1978 he reached the final, only to lose to Japan’s Isao Aoki 3 & 2. Owen’s brother Craig will be a familiar name to local golfers having being based in the province as a teaching and playing professional for a number of years.

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Wentworth Lane (TDN 30/01/2021)

City:New Plymouth