2019 – Juan Stoked

Stokes holds his nerve

Many have buckled under the pressure of leading a Woodpecker, but for Falcon captain Johnny Stokes, it was just another day to go surfing. Whilst his fellow competitors practised on the putting green, he was eating lollies and munching on Doritos whilst checking out the latest NZ Surfing magazine.

Evidence found from a local dairy near the golf course of his pre-match purchase reveals the care-free state of mind of the champ (and his complete lack of nutritional awareness).

Stokes Triumphs as Record Tumble

Falcon captain Juan Stoked became the 21st different player to win the coveted Johnny Woodpecker Memorial Golf Classic holding off Magpie captain and tournament favourite Mark Gemstone by one stroke. With both players smashing the previous Stableford record of 47 held by Malachy Sickman in 2009, the talk turned to burglarism but both players have been in the tournament for some time, so mutterings then turned to the easy state of the first golf course.

Fortunately, from a golf perspective, the tournament was saved by Sir Peter Peta Hunt who used his considerable influence to get the tournament moved from a sheep paddock on day two that could have seen players shoot 100 Stablefords and be banned from all forms of golf throughout New Zealand for handicap fraud.

Day One

And then there were four (burglars) – four players, four records and a couple of PB’s to boot.

Congratulations to JJ, The Baron, The Sergeant and Mr Murfitt for making the final four, and in doing so, smashing burglar records to smithereens. The TAB have closed the book on any player outside the top four winning in 2019 so we take a look at their chances at becoming the 20th player to win the coveted Woodpecker trophy.

Mr Murfitt

Tossed about amongst the teams during his first few years playing in the Woodpecker Murfitt came as close as one can get to winning the Woodpecker with only a broken new golf trundler between him and the title in Dunedin. With Tremain seriously overweight and suffering from acute gout, Tremain knew he would never be able to walk 18 holes so he stole a golf cart.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Can he go one better in 2019 starting 4 shots behind the leaders?  If anyone can Mr Murfitt can. Car pie.

The Baron

The greatest Falcon captain in the history of the game and the only player to have a shoebox in his trundler. Many pundits have suggested that this year the shoebox has gone and his clean thoughts and judgement have been the reason for his incredible (yet dodgy) Stableford score of 50. On a 34 handicap and with 10 holes extra to claim a second shot over joint leader Johnson, the Eat The Kiwi Baron will be hard to beat.


Aka Red spot, the Hindu bomber and the machine – lover of a good cream smother. Machine has been there or thereabouts in recent years and only needs to put together two consecutive average rounds to win the trophy with his 35 handicap. TAB pundits do feel however that the tougher Ngamotu Course could make it tough.


Magpie captain and the greatest player ever to have captained the Magpies, JJ, aka Mark Gemstone will be looking to go one better than 2018 when he co-led with Don Sure. Rumoured to have convinced fellow Magpie Simon Schteemin to buy the Napier driving range so he could practice uninterrupted.

They say that you have to lose it to win it and the tougher Ngamotu course will be more to his liking.