2006 Dr Zooce

The Doctor Delivers

In one of those extraordinary moments in sport where fate takes control Dr Zooce ghosted his way to victory in the 2006 Johnny Woodpecker Memorial Golf Classic. Playing in the shoes of his dearly departed friend Fraser Moors, the good doctor seemingly came from nowhere to snatch the title from the largest field ever assembled in the Coromandel resort town of Whangamata.

His form was solid if not sensational over the two days but there was still no grumbling about his generous handicap nor the endless practice rounds the Falcons had pre-tournament. The first day saw Canada’s finest join the rank amateurs and Danny Lee hurling liquid jugs back over the Waihi Golf Club balcony but his score on the parklands treat was enough to ensure he would be among the last to tee off on Saturday.

First Night

First night festivities put paid to most of the pretenders on show much the same way that Lou Malesi put paid to a full bottle of chardonnay on his late arrival at tourney HQ as a fine for missing the first days play. Malesi, always noted for his timeliness and reliability was at a loss to explain how he could turn up at a golf tournament after the first days play had completed.

Tournament leader Dr Zooce was having none of the banter that he would fold and didn’t have the bottle to last the distance. Pressed further and further into the night by seasoned Woodpecker veterans determined to put him to the sword, the debutante Zooce was soon to find the going a little bit too tough as revealed by the ‘mosquito’ – roving Woodley reporter who appeared to revel in the misfortune of the tournament leader.

Magpie star player and the Woodpecker’s most coached Simon Schteemin was to find the going much tougher. Months of preparation, 3 separate swing coaches (for his 5 iron approach shot) and $15,000 worth of liposuction couldn’t hide the fact that he was a night one lightweight being first to go to bed after a few shandies.

Day Two

In a final four with five iron Chur, Traill and the equine with a faecal problem the “Deuce” held strong through the 18 and was cheered onto the final green by a gallery of good and great gentleman.



At his third acceptance speech in Whangamata’s hottest club – Pinky’s – the healer was heard to utter that famous expression heard only once before –“the shield goes north”.

So, in another fitting tribute to the man they simply called Ritchie the 2007 circus will roll onto the greens of Waipu and Mangawhai in late March. Tournament HQ will be New Zealand’s answer to Honof#*kinlulu – Langs Beach.